Lakers Now
Round-the-clock purple and gold
Kobe Bryant impressed by new teammate Ronnie Price

The Lakers had their first day of practice on Tuesday, opening training camp primarily with conditioning drills.

After the team had finished, all-star Kobe Bryant singled out veteran guard Ronnie Price for quickly showing he's ahead of his teammates.

"Price looked really good. He looked like he could run all day," Bryant said. "He's in phenomenal shape."

The Lakers added the nine-year veteran on a non-guaranteed $1.3-million minimum contract, with a portion of his salary locking in if he is still on the roster on Nov. 15.

The 31-year-old Price went undrafted in 2005, but has made a career as a reserve point guard -- playing with the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic.

"When he was in Utah, he gave us a lot of problems," Bryant said. "He really turned a few games around for them ... with his energy and ability to get to the basket. He's an underrated shooter."

The 6-foot-2 Price said he remembers those Utah days well.

"It seems like that...

Read more
Kobe Bryant says love for game keeps him motivated

Eighteen years into an illustrious NBA career and Kobe Bryant remains as driven as ever.

Bryant says it is his love for the game of basketball that drives him more than anything else, never mentioning Tuesday the need to prove his doubters wrong about his comeback from a second injury in the last two seasons with the Lakers.

Without being prompted, Bryant talked about the torn left Achilles’ tendon injury he suffered at the end of the 2012-13 season.

While recovering from that injury, Bryant returned for six games last season and then sat out 57 because of a fractured left knee.

“I think the Achilles’ injury just ignited a new challenge for me personally to see if I can do this, right?” Bryant said after the Lakers’ first day of training camp practice. “Because you don’t know. So it’s a challenge that presented itself to see if I can make this a successful comeback. ”

At 36, Bryant has heard his naysayers say he’s too old, that he can’t be the same player he once was, that his game has...

Read more
Kobe Bryant welcomes Byron Scott's old-school conditioning

The Lakers held their first practice of training camp on Tuesday, opening with running, running and more running.

"It's probably the most running I've ever done in an NBA practice," said All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.  "Actually it is, for sure. I've never run this much."

Bryant is back on the court after missing most of last season with knee and Achilles injuries. The 36-year old veteran said injuries are no longer a concern.

He and Steve Nash, also recovering from an injury-plagued year with back, hamstring and knee issues, went through most of Scott's practice.

The new Lakers coach said he'll monitor both veterans to make sure they stay healthy.

"Kobe looked good. Steve was in great shape. Both those guys did probably 3/4 of the practice," said Scott.  "I had to ask Kobe to shut it down.

"He wanted to go more, but right now it's just a progression of going just going a little bit a day. Today was a great starting day and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

Bryant was undaunted by the...

Read more
Julius Randle ready to earn his time, wowed by teammate Kobe Bryant

After a difficult 27-55 season, the Lakers landed the seventh overall pick in the draft, selecting University of Kentucky power forward Julius Randle.

"I got to fulfill my dream of putting on a Kentucky uniform and now I'm putting on a Laker uniform," Randle said Monday at the team's annual media day. "Growing up a Laker fan, I couldn't imagine anything to be this sweet."

The young lefty said he's heading into training camp with high hopes, while understanding there's a sharp learning curve going from the NCAA to the pros.

"I'm just a 19-year old kid, making the adjustment to the NBA," he said. "When you're coming into the NBA as a rookie, you have to prove yourself. I know that and that doesn't bother me at all. I don't want anything given to me in the first place."

Last week, General Manager Mitch Kupchak said that Randle, as a rookie, will have to earn his time.

To that end, Randle said he is prepared to come off the bench behind veteran power forward Carlos Boozer.

"He deserves...

Read more
Lakers' Wesley Johnson staying quiet about Kobe Bryant's condition

The Lakers made a $48.5-million gamble that Kobe Bryant will return to form after a lost season due to knee and Achilles' injuries.

The 36-year-old All-Star guard signed a two-year contract extension during last season -- a season in which he managed to make just six appearances as the Lakers went 27-55, their worst record since moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

The Lakers' hopes this season rest on the successful return of Bryant, who averaged just 13.8 points a game last season.

One of Bryant's teammates may know his condition better than any other.

Fifth-year forward Wesley Johnson spent most of the off-season working out with Bryant, in Orange County and at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo.

"We'd come up here on the sneak, but other than that it was down in O.C.," Johnson said at the team's annual media day Monday. "He looks good."

How good?

"To see him come along ... I can't give that out," Johnson said with a smile, adding he didn't want to reveal too much.

It was Bryant...

Read more
Lakers' Nick Young learns from watching game video with Kobe Bryant

When Kobe Bryant first approached Nick Young about working out together in the summer, Young admitted he was nervous.

But when they started watching video of past games with the Lakers and Bryant began to explain the nuances of basketball, Young said he started to become a student of the game.

“I was a little nervous at first,” Young said Monday at the Lakers’ media day. “I didn’t know what he was going to talk about. But having one-on-one time with Kobe is crazy. I got comfortable and just learned a lot from him.”

Young led the Lakers in scoring last season, averaging a career-best 17.9 points in 64 games.

He shot 43.5% from the field, 38.6% from three-point range.

But Young said Bryant wants more out of his starting forward this season with the Lakers, who start training camp Tuesday.

“He was telling me and showing me on tape how defenses will guard us,” Young said. “He was telling me about how he studies film. It was a good session.”

Read more
Lakers' week in review

The Lakers finished the final week of the off-season and will be transitioning  Monday to the preseason with the franchise's annual media day.

The team added a number of players over last week, increasing the training camp roster to 19.

Free agent shooting guard Wayne Ellington was added on a non-guaranteed contract, with sizable portions locking in if he is still on the roster on key dates in November and December.  The team also brought on veteran combination guard Ronnie Price, who has a similar contract.

The Lakers invited four players to camp (Roscoe Smith, Jabari Brown, Keith Appling and Jeremy Tyler) on non-guaranteed summer contracts.

Of the 19 players on the roster, the Lakers can bring a maximum of 15 to the regular season.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak met with reporters Friday to preview the season, noting "championship" is still on the agenda.

Kupchak expects All-Star guard Kobe Bryant to make a strong return after missing all but six games last year with knee and...

Read more
Lakers' training camp roster by jersey numbers

The Lakers will officially get back to work when they open training camp on Monday with the team's annual media day.

Coach Byron Scott and the team will make their preseason debut on Oct. 6 in San Diego (Valley View Casino Center) against the Denver Nuggets.

The franchise has 19 players under contract, with 13 fully guaranteed.  The regular season maximum is 15 -- leaving six players fighting for two potential roster spots.

No. 0 -- Nick Young -- fully guaranteed -- pencil in the high scoring "Swaggy P" as the Lakers' sixth man.

No. 1 -- Keith Appling -- non-guaranteed camp invite -- a rookie point guard hoping to make an impression.

No. 2 -- Wayne Ellington -- non-guaranteed -- a potential Jodie Meeks replacement (shooter).

No. 3 -- Jeremy Tyler -- non-guaranteed camp invite -- the young power forward/center needs a very strong camp to make the team.

No. 4 -- Ryan Kelly -- fully guaranteed -- the second-year power forward re-signed with the team after a strong rookie season.

No. 5 --...

Read more
Lakers' Jeremy Lin ponders 'Lindorsements'

New Laker Jeremy Lin has added another YouTube clip, tongue-in-cheek pondering "Lindorsements."

Collaborating with Wong Fu Productions, Lin parodies a number of popular advertising campaigns, including Chris (and Cliff) Paul's State Farm spots.  Lin even brings in teammate Steve Nash for a cameo.

The 26-year old Lin was acquired by the Lakers over the summer in a trade with the Houston Rockets.

"His workouts here have been excellent, so we think he’ll make a contribution," said General Manager Mitch Kupchak at a press conference at the team's practice facility on Friday.  "He’ll be motivated. Like a bunch of guys on our team, this is the last year on their deal."

Heading into the fifth year of his career, Lin will earn $14.9 million from the Lakers this season, although by a quirk of how the Rockets originally acquired him in 2012, Lin's cap number for the Lakers is $8.4 million.

Lin may start or, if Nash is healthy, come off the bench.  Coach Byron Scott may also consider playing Lin...

Read more
Mitch Kupchak says rookie Julius Randle will need to earn his time

The Lakers suffered through a miserable 2013-14 season, going 27-55, leading to the drafting of Kentucky power forward Julius Randle with the seventh overall pick.

Randle, averaging 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds a game, helped lead the Wildcats to the NCAA championship game as a freshman (ultimately falling to Connecticut).

At a news conference Friday, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak tried to temper expectations for the heralded rookie.

"Julius is still 19 years old," Kupchak said. "You wouldn’t know that by looking at him, because he’s really a well-developed, big, strong, athletic kid. Over the years, I've never looked at a rookie and said, 'Hey, this guy's gonna bring us to the top.'  It doesn't do any good to have high expectations."

Kupchak's comments extended to rookie guard Jordan Clarkson (46th overall selection), acquired on draft night from the Washington Wizards.

"I'm hopeful that, during the course of the season and training camp, they'll both continue to improve, stay...

Read more
Mitch Kupchak expects Kobe Bryant to make strong return

General Manager Mitch Kupchak has high expectations that All-Star guard Kobe Bryant will make a strong return this season, after missing all but six games last year with Achilles and knee injuries.

"I think he's going to have an excellent year," said Kupchak on Friday at the Lakers' practice facility.  "I've watched throughout the summer ... He looks really good. He says he feels great. No ill effects on either injury."

Bryant averaged just 13.8 points a game, with 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in his brief stint. The Lakers struggled without him, finishing with the team's worst record since moving to Los Angeles (27-55).

While the veteran spent all of last offseason recuperating from Achilles surgery, he's been healthy this summer, steadily preparing his comeback.

"He's been working every day. I get reports. I've seen him personally," said Kupchak. "I know he's working and speaking with [Coach] Byron [Scott] on a daily or semi-daily basis."

"If he walked into the room, or he walked on...

Read more
Nearing training camp, only 13 of 19 Lakers guaranteed

Earlier in the week, the Lakers increased their training camp roster to 19 players, one short of the maximum.

While 13 have fully guaranteed contracts, including second-round pick (46th overall) Jordan Clarkson, the team has six players competing for two final roster spots.

Guard Ronnie Price has no guarantees on his $1,316,809 salary, not until two weeks into the season.

If Price is still on the roster on Nov. 15, his deal will lock in for $329,202.  If he hasn't been waived by Dec. 15, Price's guarantee increases to $658,405.

All non-guaranteed contracts are firmed up for players who are still on NBA rosters as of Jan. 10.

Because the nine-year veteran signed a one-year, minimum contract, the NBA will reimburse the Lakers $401,566 for the portion of his salary that is greater than the minimum for a player with two years of experience ($915,243).  The rule is in place to encourage teams to sign veteran players, despite higher salaries.

Shooting guard Wayne Ellington has a similar...

Read more
Loading