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Tag:Los Angeles Lakers
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:00 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 3:01 pm
 

Forbes: Kobe tops LeBron as NBA's highest earner

Kobe Bryant is the NBA's top earner. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The Los Angeles Lakers are back on top as the NBA's most valuable franchise and All-Star guard Kobe Bryant retains his crown as the league's top earner.

The latest evaluation from Forbes Magazine estimates that Bryant will earn $53.2 million in salary and endorsements this year, well more than his closest competition. Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James is No. 2 at $49 million.
Bryant’s following has allowed him to amass an endorsement portfolio of global brands including Nike, Smart Car, Panini and Turkish Airlines that pay him $28 million annually. Factor in his league leading $25.2 million salary from the Lakers and Bryant is the NBA’s top-earning athlete at $53.2 million.

Bryant’s Lakers salary is $3 million greater than any other NBA player thanks to the idiosyncrasies of the NBA’s maximum salary rules on individual players. 
Bryant, 33, is a 5-time NBA champion and 13-time All-Star. He is currently leading the NBA in scoring, at 30.5 points per game and is currently the Western Conference's leading vote-getter for the 2012 All-Star Game. Entering this season, Bryant had earned more than $196 million in salary during his career, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

In December, Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's wife, filed for divorce. She will reportedly receive up to $75 million in the divorce settlement, including three California houses owned by the couple. 

The rest of the top-5 NBA earners, according to Forbes: Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard (28.9 million), Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade (27.7 million) and New York Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony (26.5 million).
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 3:00 pm
 

Lakers pass Knicks as most valuable NBA franchise

Kobe Bryant's Lakers are the NBA's most valuable team. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

It might be the only title they win this season, but the Los Angeles Lakers have reclaimed the top spot as the NBA's most valuable franchise.

An annual ranking from Forbes Magazine released on Thursday notes that the Lakers have moved past last year's No. 1 team, the New York Knicks, and are worth an estimated $900 million. That's a staggering 40 percent increase over their 2011 valuation, a gain aided in large part by a massive new television deal signed in February 2011.

The Knicks are worth an estimated $780 million this season, a 19 percent increase over the 2011 valuation. New York added All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony via trade at last year's deadline and signed starting center Tyson Chandler during the December free agency period.

In 2011, New York ($655 million) was No. 1, topping Los Angeles ($643 million). The Lakers had been No. 1 in 2010.

Forbes notes that many of the league's major financial indicators are positive. 
Blockbuster television deals and a new collective bargaining agreement have lifted the value of the average NBA team to a record $393 million, up 6.5% over last year.

The NBA’s TV ratings soared nationally and locally last year, jumping more than 50% on regional sports networks for at least eight teams. TNT and Walt Disney‘s ESPN/ABC pay $930 million a year on average for rights to NBA games nationally. All three benefited from the hype surrounding LeBron James’ move to the Miami Heat, with ratings up 45% for games on TNT, 30% on ABC and 29% on ESPN. In an increasingly DVR-saturated environment, media companies will pay up for sports — it’s one of the few programming options left that guarantee a large number of eyeballs for advertisers.

NBA revenues hit a record $4 billion last season, up 4.2% from the prior year. The average NBA team had an operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $5.8 million last year, down 5% from the prior year. That profit is inflated by the top teams as the Lakers, Knicks, Bulls and Heat average $46 million in earnings while the rest of the league had a cumulative loss. Overall, 15 teams lost money, led by the Charlotte Bobcats and Memphis Grizzlies, who both were $25 million in the red. 
The rest of the 2012 top-5 most valuable franchises: Chicago Bulls ($600 million, up 17 percent), Dallas Mavericks ($497 million, up 13 percent) and Boston Celtics ($482 million, up 7 percent).
Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 4:58 pm
 

Pau Gasol wants to drop the jumpers and go inside

Posted by Royce Young

Laker fans are getting hungry.

It's not big secret, but the Lakers offense is struggling. Here's how much: They haven't scored 100 points since Jan. 3. That's 20 days without tacos. That's not acceptable in Lakerland. Those people want their tacos.

So what's the problem? It's easy to just point to things like Mike Brown and the adjustment from the Triangle, but it's also things like players are producing.

Blame Kobe Bryant all you want, but the guy is doing his part. He's tried the whole scoring 40 a night thing and while that works, that's not sustainable. He's tried cutting down on his shots and playing more efficiently, but that hasn't really worked. Why? Because his counterparts aren't picking up the slack. One notable name being Pau Gasol.

What's the deal with Gasol? He's not doing enough on the block, he says. Via ESPN.com:
"I would like to get a little more inside, myself," Gasol said. "I always like to have different looks and be able to attack from different angles. The second half I didn't have one chance to attack from the post, so I was more of a facilitator. I got two jumpers, open, that I missed, and that was all the opportunities that I had."

[...]

"A little too many jumpers for my taste," Gasol said. "I'd like to get a couple more looks inside the paint. That'll increase the [shooting] percentage."

Gasol isn't a bad jumpshooter by any stretch, but he is a dynamic post scorer. Gasol's scoring is down to 15.8 points per game, which is the lowest ever in his career. His shots attempts are down a bit, he's taking only 3.3 free throws a game and he's already taken 11 3-pointers this year (his career-high for a season is 15).

It's obvious that outside of the Triangle, which had post-up plays built in because of plays within plays, Gasol doesn't know how to get the ball in workable positions. He's not blaming Brown's offense so much as just saying he has to figure out how to get out of this jumpshooting rut and go back to the block where he's one of the best players in the league.

Nothing will help the Laker offense more than diversified scoring and that starts with No. 16. Once Gasol starts producing from inside and out, it opens the door to possibilities. You get the big man connection between him and Andrew Bynum, Kobe becomes more dangerous and the Laker shooters are a threat.

So if the Laker offense is going to get on track, a lot of it is going to start with Gasol finding his way to the paint.


Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:39 pm
 

Report: Jazz dangling Devin Harris in trade talks

Posted by Ben Golliver devin-harris-slc

New city, same reality: Devin Harris in on the trade block.

ESPN.com reports that the Utah Jazz point guard, acquired in the 2011 deadline blockbuster that sent Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets, is being dangled in trade talks, with the Los Angeles Lakers as one possible suitor.
The Jazz have made it known that point guard Devin Harris is available via trade, according to front-office sources.

But you can safely assume that Utah won't struggle to find a taker before the March 15 trade deadline, given that Harris only turns 29 next month and has a very movable contract with only next season remaining at $8.5 million.

The Lakers would surely have interest, desperately needing an injection of speed in their backcourt, but the $8.2 million trade exception L.A. created by dealing Lamar Odom to Dallas isn't big enough to accommodate Harris' current $9.5 million salary.
Prior to getting traded to Utah, Harris, 28, was involved in trade rumors for the better part of his tenure in New Jersey. That's the life when you're a good but not great point guard that's not quite in tune with the development life cycle of the team around you. On the season, Harris is averaging 8.1 points and 4.6 assists as veteran reserve Earl Watson has stepped into a big minutes role.

The Jazz, at 9-5, are one of the surprise stories in the Western Conference. Loaded with young parts, they've taken advantage of their always excellent homecourt advantage to run out to a hot start. Given that they've played almost twice as many games at home (9) as on the road (5), there's a sense that the current record is a bit of fool's gold and it's quite possible they wind up as a lottery team when all is said and done.

Still, teams in that situation aren't usually eager to part with their starting point guard, even if he only plays 25.6 minutes a night. Any trade involving Harris is likely to come closer to the deadline and involve young pieces and/or picks and/or expiring contracts, the type of assets that would allow the not-yet-formed Jazz to continue developing with maximum flexibility. The Lakers, in particular, don't have much to offer in those departments, at least not without the help of a third team. 
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:46 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 6:05 pm
 

Deron Williams' list: Nets, Knicks, Mavs, Lakers?

Posted by Ben Golliver deron-williams-nets

The New Jersey Nets are 4-11 and going nowhere fast, so there's no choice but to open the floodgates to reports of All-Star point guard Deron Williams' future.

ESPN.com reports that Williams, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, has a list of four teams in mind.
Deron Williams' first choice is to stay with the Nets and to build something special in Brooklyn, but if it doesn't work out with his current team, his short list of desirable destinations includes the Mavericks, the Knicks and the Lakers, according to sources close to the situation.

Williams has publicly stated his desire to re-sign with the Nets, and New Jersey, which views him as a building block for next season's move to Brooklyn, has refused to entertain potential trades involving Williams. Yet both sides know their future together is tied to Dwight Howard.

If the Nets are able to obtain Howard, either through a trade before the March 15 deadline or in free agency this summer, Williams will re-sign. If Howard goes elsewhere, Williams is likely to leave New Jersey, according to the sources.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has reported that the Mavericks are a major player in the D-Will sweepstakes.
 
Let's take a quick. look at Williams' four preferred destinations, ranking each on a scale of 1-10 for how badly they need Williams (one being not at all, 10 being desperately).

Dallas Mavericks (6): The NBA's oldest team needs an injection of youth and top-flight star talent. Franchise forward Dirk Nowitzki had dealt with a nagging knee injury this year and his production has taken a hit. The ageless Jason Kidd is less than a year removed from a championship, but he's 38 years old and in the final year of his contract. The Mavericks could potentially have laods of salary coming off their books this summer and the best players they have under contract going forward are Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Rodrigue Beaubois and, potentially, Lamar Odom. Williams is the kind of veteran point guard who can get the most out of the mixed-and-matched parts Mavericks owner Mark Cuban always seems to assemble. Given the 2011 rings that are already in hand, landing Williams would amount to a coup rather than a franchise-defining turn of events. If he goes elsewhere, there won't be crying in the streets. 

Los Angeles Lakers (9): Like the Mavericks, the Lakers are aging and need a longer-term answer at the point guard position. But there's an added urgency, as Lakers guard Kobe Bryant approaches the twilight of his career and continues his quest for six rings to match Michael Jordan. Bryant needs a point guard who can create his own offense and make Bryant's life easier. That point guard should have been Chris Paul, but we all know NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in on that one. Williams could be that guy, too. Williams and Bryant were both members of the 2008 Olympics Gold Medal-winning team and they share a desire to win immediately.

New York Knicks (10): The Knicks are underperforming to start the 2011-2012 season, starting 6-8, and should make a push before all is said and done. But the notion that one of the league's most stacked frontcourts could make up for arguably the league's most barren backcourt isn't panning out, and it's incredibly difficult to imagine this team winning a playoff series without a major infusion of talent. After being subjected to Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby, Knicks fans are frothing at the mere mention of Williams' name. Swap Williams into the mix for one of New York's Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler and more wins are sure to result. 

New Jersey Nets (167,000): New Jersey is essentially unwatchable with Williams on the roster so their desperation to retain him really can't be quantified. The Nets mortgaged their entire franchise in trading a package of Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and picks to acquire Williams from the Nets at the 2011 trade deadline, and they've struggled to surround him with anything except mediocre (and worse) talent. Somehow landing Dwight Howard is the longshot panacea for their team's treadmill of terrible, but good luck with that one. The Williams affair almost certainly ends badly for New Jersey.

Posted on: January 20, 2012 2:23 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 2:30 pm
 

Dwight on Shaq: 'He's mad about Superman'

Posted by Ben Golliver 

dwight-howard-superman

The Los Angeles Lakers are in Orlando to face the Magic for a nationally-televised game on Friday night, and the future Hall of Fame center who bolted Disney World for Disney Land back in the 1990s is stirring things up between his two former teams.

TNT commentator Shaquille O'Neal said recently that Lakers center Andrew Bynum -- and not Magic center Dwight Howard -- is the "best big man" in the NBA.

"Andrew Bynum is a true big man," O'Neal said. "He can back you down, jump hook. Dwight Howard has one or two moves on the block.  His one move is the running jump hook and the other move is a pick and roll and get inside. Andrew Bynum has the right jump hook and the left jump hook."

O'Neal and Howard have had an ongoing back-and-forth for some time now, and Howard responded to the criticism in comments made to reporters and posted to NBA.com on Friday morning.

"He's mad about Superman," Howard said, in reference to a nickname once used by O'Neal and co-opted by Howard for the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest. "I didn't know he made it up. I didn't know Superman came from Shaquille O'Neal... He's still mad about it. I would suggest he just sit down and get on with his life. He don't play no more so what's the point of talking trash. It's not like we're wrestlers and we can battle it out. Who cares?"

Barkley called out O'Neal for picking Bynum over O'Neal based on the "Superman" nickname beef.

"That ain't got nothing to do with it," O'Neal claimed. 

Of course, there's no contest. Howard, 26, averages more points, grabs more rebounds, dishes more assists, gets more steals, blocks more shots and shoots a better field goal percentage than Bynum. Howard has missed seven games in 7+ NBA seasons while Bynum has repeatedly been sidelined with injuries. Here's a statistical side-by-side if you need convincing. Howard is a 5-time All-Star, 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, 4-time All-NBA first team. Bynum, 24, is having a career year and will make his first All-Star game, but his best individual achievement to this point was making the 2005 McDonald's All-American game. He's probably the league's second-best big man, but he's a distant second.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy dismissed O'Neal's comments.

"I don't really watch those guys very much. Not that I don't have tremendous respect for what they say," Van Gundy joked, "not that I'm not trying to learn from them at every opportunity, but I just don't have time really... Shaq can say whatever he wants. He has a forum where he's supposed to talk and give his opinions."
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:22 pm
 

Report: Kobe Bryant loses 3 houses in divorce

Posted by Ben Golliver kobe-bryant-vanessa-bryant

It's a good thing this guy practically lives in the gym.

We noted earlier this week that Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant was set to lose a reported $75 million in a divorce settlement with wife Vanessa. TMZ.com reports Friday that the settlement will give Vanessa all three of the Bryants' homes.
Vanessa scored a clean sweep, snagging all three of the former couple's mansions in the Newport Beach area. Vanessa gets the estate the couple was living in, the estate her mom is living in, and she gets the new estate that had been under construction for 2 years and was just completed.
The Bryants, who have two young daughters, announced that they were filing for divorce in December and they did not have a prenuptial agreement in place.  

In a prepared statement issued to the media in December, a representative of the Bryant said: "The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a Judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012." 

According to Basketball-Reference.com, Bryant has earned more than $196 million in salary during his NBA career. Bryant is on the books for $25 million for the 2011-2012 season, tops in the NBA according to Forbes.com, and has an additional $57 million owed to him in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 combined. SI.com reports that Bryant makes at least $10 million per year in off-court endorsements.
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:10 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 11:16 am
 

Report: Bryant lets Howard know whose team it is

Kobe Bryant is talking to Dwight Howard, but is he moving Howard away from the Lakers? (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

There are various rules and regulations that prohibit NBA teams and players from talking to one another in regards to recruiting for a trade. But when that player has been given permission to talk to other teams, that all goes out the window. Such is the case with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, who have apparently become like teenage girls gabbing on the phone with Howard weighing where he wants to be traded to, if at all. Unfortuntely for Lakers fans, it doesn't sound like Bryant's doing a great job as a pitch man.  From the Los Angeles Times
Kobe Bryant has had at least one in-depth phone conversation with Howard recently, even discussing how Howard might fit in with the Lakers' scheme.

One person with knowledge of the conversation said Howard came away feeling as if he wouldn't be the Lakers' top option, for obvious reasons. It's Bryant's team.
via Lakers-Magic center swap might be on back burner - latimes.com.

It's slightly bizarre that two stars on different teams playing Friday night have been chatting casually about their prospective dynamic should one of them join the other. But that's the new NBA. 

Bryant scaring off Howard is pretty much the most Kobe thing ever. Yes, the Lakers are 10-5, but they've also looked very beatable this season, more like a "good team that isn't winning a title" than a true contender, never more so than against the Heat (without Dwyane Wade) Thursday night. And yet Bryant has to make sure Howard knows the pecking order. It's his team, and no Defensive Player of the Year, MVP candidate,  most dominant center in the league is going to come in and take touches away from him. Bryant feels he's earned the right to determine his order in the pecking order, what with the rings and the Hall of Fame eventually and everything. 

But this isn't how you bring a talent like Howard in. That's not how his makeup is geared. You have to try and get him excited. But if Bryant is good with his guys, this is a great effort to sabotage a trade, which the Times says is on the back burner, with both teams not having talked for weeks. 

At least if Howard does push for and agree to a trade to the Lakers, he'll know for sure what he's getting into. It won't be Dwight's team. It will be Bryant's.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com