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Mitch Kupchak, John Black of Lakers take the ALS ice bucket challenge

On Thursday, two Lakers executives took part in the ALS ice bucket challenge.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak, nominated by Dodgers chief executive Stan Kasten, got doused with a bucket of ice water to help raise awareness and donations to help fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Kupchak in turn nominated Lakers owner Jim Buss, actor Jack Nicholson and former Lakers general manager Jerry West.

West, an owner/executive with the Golden State Warriors, quickly answered Kupchak’s challenge – declaring, “I quit,” after getting drenched with ice water.

John Black, the Lakers vice president of public relations, also accepted the challenge, passing the torch on to tennis player Pete Sampras, sportscaster Jim Gray and Alison Bogli (Lakers senior manager of public relations).

According to the ALS Assn., the ice bucket challenge helped raise $41.8 million in donations since July 29, a dramatic rise from the same time period a year ago ($2.1 million).

The Internet sensation...

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San Francisco's Madame Tussauds to unveil Jeremy Lin figure

Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin on Thursday is set to help unveil a wax figure of himself at Madame Tussauds on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

Madame Tussauds is famous for lifelike wax images of celebrities, athletes and politicians. The San Francisco branch also features local icons such as Lin, who is the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.

Born in Torrance, Lin grew up in Palo Alto. He began his NBA career with the Golden State Warriors in 2010, before becoming a star with the New York Knicks in 2012.

In July, the Lakers acquired Lin from the Houston Rockets in a trade.

For his wax figure, Lin met with Madame Tussauds' artists for detailed measurements to ensure that the final product would be a realistic likeness of the 25-year-old point guard. He will turn 26 on Saturday.

Last season with the Rockets, Lin averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists a game while shooting career highs from the field (44.6%), the three-point line (35.8%) and the free-throw...

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March may be make-or-break stretch on Lakers' schedule

After a 27-55 season, the Lakers hope to be far more competitive this coming season.

With the addition of rookie power forward Julius Randle (seventh overall pick) and a healthy Kobe Bryant, the Lakers may be able to get through the first four months of their 2014-15 schedule with a winning record.

If so, March may decide if they have any hope for a playoff spot.

Of their 16 games that month, the Lakers are to play nine on the road, and 10 are against teams that advanced to the postseason last year.

The Lakers are scheduled to begin the month at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 1, followed by a three-game road trip against the Charlotte Hornets (March 3), Miami Heat (March 4) and Memphis Grizzlies (March 6).

The team then is set to return home for four straight, starting with the Dallas Mavericks (March 8), the Detroit Pistons (March 10) and the New York Knicks (March 12). After two days off, the Lakers draw the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center (March 15) before a quick...

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Dodgers' Stan Kasten nominates Mitch Kupchak for ice bucket challenge

On Tuesday, Stan Kasten, Dodgers president and chief executive, accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge after being nominated by the San Francisco Giants.

The challenge, which involves getting doused with a bucket of ice, is an Internet sensation designed to raise awareness and money to help fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

After Kasten is drenched, as seen on MLB.com, he issues the challenge to Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille.

Should Kupchak choose to participate in the ALS challenge, he would have 24 hours to fulfill the obligation.

Over the weekend, Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant took the challenge from his daily ice bath -- posting the video on Instagram.

Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times recently wrote that he hopes the fad promoting a cure for ALS proves more substantive than simply "attention-grabbing and frivolity."

The Times' Michael Hiltzik echoed...

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Byron Scott begins mentorship at Centennial High School

On Tuesday, Lakers Coach Byron Scott visited Centennial High School in Compton to announce his mentorship with the school's Male Academy.

Throughout the school year, Scott will take time to meet with students and participate in motivational discussions.

The program has helped students improve academic performance, attendance and graduation rates.

Former Los Angeles/Oakland Raider quarterback Vince Evans previously served as mentor at Centennial.

Scott grew up in Inglewood, attending Morningside High School. He played college ball at Arizona State.

Through the Showtime era, Scott won three titles with the Lakers, playing shooting guard alongside Magic Johnson.

Scott was named head coach of the Lakers in late July. 

eric.pincus@gmail.com

Twitter: @EricPincus

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Light February schedule offers Lakers a chance to climb in standings

The rebuilding Lakers may be able to near or even hit .500 through the end of January, after a busy three months of play.

February will be the Lakers' lightest stretch all season, despite six of 10 games played on the road.

Only two of the Lakers' opponents during that month qualified for the playoffs last year, although the Cleveland Cavaliers are certainly improved with the addition of former Miami Heat all-star LeBron James.

The schedule has the Lakers opening the month with four straight road games, starting in New York on Feb. 1 against the Knicks. After a two-day break, the Lakers then are scheduled to visit the Milwaukee Bucks (Feb. 4), the Orlando Magic (Feb. 6) and the Cavaliers (Feb. 8).

Following a quick stop at home to host the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 10, the Lakers are set to play the next night in Portland against the Trail Blazers -- the second time they play in Portland on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Lakers would then get a lengthy respite for All-Star...

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January could be a critical and difficult month for the Lakers

The Lakers may be able to hover around .500 through November and December.  The first month of the season will be a challenge, but a road-heavy December could be manageable for the Lakers.

Play shifts back to Staples Center in January, with nine at home (plus a visit to the Clippers). Competition will be tough, as only five opponents in 15 games missed the postseason last year.

One lottery opponent that has improved significantly is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who picked up LeBron James this summer and is rumored to be acquiring Kevin Love soon in trade.  While the Miami Heat are likely to dip considerably, they still have a respectable, veteran roster.

The Lakers open up 2015 with a pair of home games, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies (Jan. 2) and Indiana Pacers (Jan. 4).

After the Pacers, the Lakers fly up to Portland to take on the Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back. The Lakers typically have a difficult time winning in Portland, even when well rested.

The Lakers' next five...

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Despite 10 of 15 on the road, Lakers' December schedule may be doable

After a busy start to the season, playing 10 of 17 at home through October and November, the Lakers hit the road for most of December.

Only five of the Lakers' 15 December games will be at Staples Center. Seven will be played against teams that made the playoffs last season. The Lakers will play on consecutive nights three times.

Despite spending little time at home, the Lakers have what looks to be a manageable December schedule.

The month starts with a three-game trip against the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 2, followed by a quick trip to the Washington Wizards on Dec 3. On Dec. 5, the Lakers will make their lone visit to play the Boston Celtics, before returning home.

After being host to the New Orleans Pelicans (Dec. 7) and Sacramento Kings (Dec. 9), the Lakers will get two days off before their second three-game trip of the month.

After a trip to San Antonio against the champion Spurs on Dec. 12, the Lakers play their second-back-to-back set with visits to the Minnesota Timberwolves...

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Lakers play 10 of 17 games at home through busy November schedule

The Lakers open the 2014-15 season with a busy schedule against quality opponents.

Through November, including three games in October, the Lakers will play 17 times -- 10 at home and seven on the road.

They'll play 13 teams, nine of which made the playoffs last season. Two of the games against non-playoff teams will come against the 48-win Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers play on successive days 16 times, four coming early in the season, starting with the Houston Rockets on Oct. 28 and a visit to the Phoenix Suns on the 29th.

Playing four games in five nights, the Lakers host the Clippers on Halloween, then travel to play the Golden State Warriors on Nov 1.

After the initial push, the schedule cools briefly for the Lakers, who get four days off before hosting the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 9.

The Lakers have a two-night road trip in Memphis and New Orleans starting Nov. 11 before returning home to host the champion San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 14.

The Spurs visit the Lakers only once, starting a...

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Lakers will open 2014-15 season against Houston Rockets

The Lakers will open the 2014-15 season on Tuesday, Oct. 28, when they play host to Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

The NBA released the full season schedule on Wednesday.

All-Star guard Kobe Bryant played in six games during the 2013-14 season, sitting out all four battles against the Rockets. On opening night this season, he'll get a chance to challenge Howard, who played for the Lakers during the 2012-2013 season.

The Lakers will visit Pau Gasol and the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day. Gasol recently left the Lakers for Chicago, despite the Lakers' attempts to re-sign the veteran forward/center. The Bulls play the Lakers at Staples Center on Jan. 29.

Of the 14 opponents in the Western Conference, the Lakers will play 10 a total of four times each. They'll draw the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Rockets just three times apiece. The Lakers will also play the 15 Eastern Conference teams twice each.

The Lakers will be featured on national...

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Lakers' week in review

The Lakers moved into August, traditionally one of the quietest NBA months before the preseason starts up at the end of September.

Second-year power forward Ryan Kelly married Lindsay Cowher, daughter of the former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach.

Shooting guard MarShon Brooks, who was briefly with the Lakers last season, agreed to play overseas for Italian club Olimpia Milano. Brooks is the final player on the 2013-14 Lakers roster to find a home.

Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant passed Kobe Bryant as the favorite player among NBA rookies, according to a poll conducted by NBA.com.

Byron Scott settled in as coach of the Lakers -- back in the city of his youth, and where he won three titles during the Showtime era.

Scott spoke on radio, vowing that although the Lakers may have a tough road ahead, they will play defense.

Via Twitter, he also gave his initial thoughts on Bryant, Julius Randle, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill, Jordan Clarkson and other aspects of the Lakers' roster....

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Ex-Lakers guard MarShon Brooks to join Italian club Olimpia Milano

On Friday, former Lakers guard MarShon Brooks agreed to join Italian franchise Olimpia Milano.

Brooks spent the latter part of last season with the Lakers, after a February trade from the Golden State Warriors.  The Lakers also received Kent Bazemore from the Warriors for veteran guard Steve Blake.

The Lakers let Bazemore depart to the Atlanta Hawks (although no contract has been finalized) and now Brooks will leave the NBA to play overseas.  Blake has since moved on from the Warriors to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Through 18 appearances with the Lakers, Brooks averaged 6.4 points a game while shooting 48.9% from the field and 57.9% from three-point range.

Brooks is the final player from last season's 27-55 Lakers squad to find a home.

While Jordan Hill, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Nick Young and Ryan Kelly re-signed with the Lakers, Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls), Jodie Meeks (Detroit Pistons), Kendall Marshall (Milwaukee Bucks), Chris Kaman (Portland Trail Blazers), Jordan...

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