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#pounditTuesday, December 1, 2020

Articles tagged: Los Angeles Lakers

Report: Rajon Rondo expected to opt out of contract with Lakers

Rajon Rondo

One of the biggest challenges for a team after winning a championship is the ability to repeat. Once players start leaving the team and signing elsewhere, the chances of a repeat decrease. Rajon Rondo may be giving the Los Angeles Lakers their first tough decision.

Rondo, 34, has a $2.69 million player option for next season but is expected to opt out, according to Basketball News’ Chris Sheridan.

Rondo made $2.56 million this season. He only played in 48 games during the regular season and averaged 7.1 points and 5.0 assists in 20.5 minutes per game. He had a larger role in the postseason, averaging 8.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 1.4 steals in 24.7 minutes per game.

The Lakers have five players with options for next season. In addition to Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee have contract options. And then they have their biggest question to answer with the other player who has an option.

The Lakers on Sunday night beat the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win their 17th championship in franchise history.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Anthony Davis ‘not 100 percent sure’ about future with Lakers

Anthony Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers will be the favorites to repeat as NBA champions next season if Anthony Davis returns, but as of now the star big man is not willing to guarantee that will happen.

Davis, who has a player option on his contract for next season, was asked about his potential free agency after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Sunday night. He said he has experienced “nothing but joy and amazement” while playing in L.A. this season but would not commit to returning next year.

Davis turned down a four-year, $146 million max extension from the Lakers back in January, but that was basically a formality. He will be eligible to sign a five-year deal worth around $200 million with the team this offseason. Davis could also sign a two-year deal with a player option for a third year. If he did that, he would have 10 years of service following the 2021-22 season and be eligible to sign a contract that is worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap.

There was concern at one point that the pandemic could impact Davis’ contract situation, but that is not likely to be a factor. While he has the option of testing free agency, returning to the Lakers clearly makes the most sense — both from a financial and competition standpoint.

Rob Pelinka called Magic Johnson after Lakers won championship

Magic Johnson

Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson had some drama surrounding the franchise legend’s abrupt departure from the Los Angeles Lakers last year, but apparently they’re back on good terms.

Johnson said after the Lakers won the NBA championship on Sunday with a 106-93 win over the Miami Heat that he received a call from Pelinka. Johnson said receiving the call made him feel “good.”

That was a thoughtful gesture from Pelinka, who is the Lakers’ general manager and vice president of basketball operations.

The Lakers went through six straight losing seasons and failed to make the playoffs last year in their first season with LeBron James. Johnson surprisingly stepped down as team president last year after two seasons on the job. His plan was to help the team land LeBron, as they did, and then acquire Anthony Davis or another star to pair with James to win the title. He said his plan all along was to eventually cede control to Pelinka.

But you may recall things got ugly when Johnson accused Pelinka of betraying him. Pelinka denied the allegations and called them “saddening.”

For the two men to have smoothed things over and be on good terms a year later is impressive. It also shows that winning really does fix problems.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

JR Smith wasted no time going shirtless when Lakers won championship

JR Smith shirtless

The Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday did what they do best: win championships.

And JR Smith did what JR Smith does best: take off his shirt.

The Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win their 17th championship. Smith won his second NBA championship and celebrated by going shirtless immediately.

Technically, Smith had his shirt off with 15 seconds left in the game!

Smith also won an NBA championship in 2016 as a teammate of LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers. He went viral at the time for being shirtless at the team’s championship parade.

This year, Smith wasted no time going shirtless again.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

ABC announcer Mark Jackson blasts Lakers fans over Danny Green death threats

Mark Jackson

ABC announcer Mark Jackson blasted Los Angeles Lakers fans on Sunday night for issuing death threats to Danny Green and his fiancee.

Green missed an open 3-pointer in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday night, playing a role in the team losing to the Miami Heat. The series was extended to a sixth game as a result.

During Game 6 of the Finals, Jackson said he was “embarrassed” for the people who sent the death threats. Fellow analyst Jeff Van Gundy said he wasn’t so sure about Jackson’s remark that “we’re better than that.”

There is a reason why “fan” is short for “fanatic,” and that is because some people can take things too seriously. Those on the receiving end of the threats should do their best to ignore this sort of thing, especially if it comes from random social media accounts that don’t matter.

As we have seen many times in the world of sports, death threats can happen when players make mistakes. Nobody should be going to that extreme.

Frank Vogel calls out refs after Lakers lose Game 5 to Heat

Frank Vogel

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel called out the refs after his team lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals 111-108 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Friday night against the Miami Heat.

Jimmy Butler was sent to the line for 12 free throws during the game and made all 12 as part of his 35-point triple-double. Vogel took issue with two fouls that were called on the Lakers in the final minute to send Butler to the line.

“I felt two bad calls at the end put (Jimmy) Butler to the line. That’s unfortunate in a game of this magnitude. Anthony Davis has a perfect verticality. That should be a ‘play on.’ And the time before that, Markieff Morris has his hand on the ball, and that should play on,” Vogel said. “They gave him four free throws and make it an uphill battle for us.”

Vogel was very clear he was “disappointed” with the officials.

“Very disappointed in that aspect of the game.”

Vogel can be disappointed all he wants, and that is likely due to his team losing and the calls not going his way. But Davis absolutely jumped into Butler and fouled him. I don’t even know how this is considered debatable.

Maybe Vogel is just following this guy’s playbook by priming the refs for Game 6.

The Lakers still lead the series 3-2.

How the Los Angeles Lakers have built their NBA Finals lead

LeBron James

Following Jimmy Butler’s 40 point, 11 rebound, 13 assist masterpiece in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat looked poised to truly threaten the Los Angeles Lakers. But in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, Tyler Herro and the rest of the Heat learned there is no standing in the way of the King’s destiny.

By winning Game 4, the Lakers established a stronghold in the series, taking a 3-1 lead — an advantage LeBron James has never squandered before in his extensive playoff history. While the Heat, like seemingly every other basketball team in the world, don’t have an answer for the league’s most potent duo of James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ shooting and rebounding have been vital to their success.

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Lakers’ jersey change indicates they plan to clinch championship in Game 5

Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers may have dropped Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but they seem to be intent on sealing matters in Game 5 on Friday night.

The Lakers will be wearing the “Black Mamba” jerseys in Game 5 of the Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the AP’s Tim Reynolds reported on Wednesday.

The Lakers originally planned to wear the Mamba jerseys in Games 2 and 7 (if necessary) of the series. Now, they have decided to put on the special jerseys for Friday’s game.

The Lakers only wear the jerseys, which were designed by the late Kobe Bryant, on limited occasions. They wore the jerseys on 8/24 in honor of Bryant as a nod to the two jersey numbers the late franchise icon wore during his career. The jersey features a snakeskin print on the outside and has 16 stars on the side panels, representing the Lakers’ 16 NBA championships.

The Lakers have worn the jerseys four times total this postseason and are undefeated when wearing them.

If the Lakers were to lose Game 5, they would not be able to wear the jerseys in Game 6 because the Heat are scheduled to wear their black jerseys that game. But the change to these jerseys implies the Lakers mean business and intend to close out the series while wearing jerseys honoring Bryant. After all, the Lakers dedicated their season to Bryant, so this winning it all in the Mamba jerseys be a fitting end.

Anthony Davis has already said the Lakers “can’t lose” in the Mamba jerseys.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

LeBron James, Lakers walk off court with time left in game

LeBron James walks off court

LeBron James and some of his Los Angeles Lakers teammates could not be bothered to stay until the end of their loss on Sunday night to the Miami Heat.

The Lakers got beat by Miami 115-104 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Heat were dribbling out the clock to end the game. With just under 10 seconds left, James just walked off the floor and made his way towards the tunnel. Some other Lakers players who were on the floor at the time followed his lead.

The shot clock expired with 0.7 seconds left and the Lakers needed to put three substitutes into the game because James, Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma had already left the court.

James was asked after the game if he walked off the court because he was frustrated or thought the game was over and said “both.”

That was an unsportsmanlike move from the Lakers. True sportsmen stay until the end and give the respect to their opponent of acknowledging defeat.

Of course they are upset about losing, but that’s part of the game. If you don’t want to lose because it’s painful, then play better next time.

This sort of behavior actually is not new for some of the players on the Lakers.

Austin Rivers reveals what Rockets must do to come back against Lakers

The Houston Rockets are facing a 3-1 deficit against the Los Angeles Lakers, and one of their players thinks they know the missing ingredient to winning.

Austin Rivers admitted there is no stopping LeBron James and Anthony Davis when they’re playing harder than his team, and the Rockets have to best their intensity.

Easier said than done. James in particular is not known as a guy who takes plays off, especially at this time of year.

The Rockets have been close in every game, at least at certain points. They have been outplayed when it counts, though, and that’s all that matters. Couple that with unnecessary off-court drama and it’s understandable if frustrations are building.