Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

Report: Lakers conduct players-only meeting after win


The impact of players-only meetings are vastly overrated. Vastly.

And they are usually conducted after an ugly loss that should be the bottoming out of a streak (but rarely is, back to the vastly overrated thing).

But in what has been an unusual season for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher decided to call one after a blowout win over Portland Monday night. That according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.

Their message was clear: Trade rumors do not matter; your feelings about management or the coaching staff don’t matter; all that matters is that the 14 men in that locker room support and believe in one another. If they stay together and stay on the same page, they can get to where they want to go as a team.

The trade rumor thing is obviously a message to Pau Gasol, although Andrew Bynum and others that will hear there name come up in the next three weeks should take heed.

As for being disgruntled with the coach… welcome to any basketball team anywhere. Yes Mike Brown is different in style than Phil Jackson, what did you expect? Yes Mike Brown is experimenting with lineups and rotations, every coach is doing that because of the lockout and no training camps. This season is one big Petri dish for coaches.

Being disgruntled with management is a hot new trend for the Lakers, but pretty much every player in that locker room has been there before, too.

So the “it’s us against the world” message is swell. Good for them. Keep the issues in house.

Not going to mean much, really, these meetings are overrated. And it doesn’t really solve the point guard issue that is the bigger problem. But good for them.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.