Los Angeles Lakers' Bryant and Blake celebrate beating Denver Nuggets at their NBA Western Conference playoff in Los Angeles

Steve Blake fined $25K for inappropriate language toward a fan during Lakers’ loss to Clippers


You may not think L.A. fans are all that passionate about their basketball — and the people in the lower bowl seats at most Lakers home games are there to be seen more than they are to cheer on the basketball, so the reputation is at least based on something real.

But just as many across the country hate the Lakers for varying reasons, there’s a large contingent in southern California that feels the same way. And they come out in force when the Clippers and the Lakers play at Staples Center.

The reason for the brief lesson in L.A. fandom is due to the fact that Lakers’ guard Steve Blake was fined $25K for  “directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” according to a league release. The incident took place with 29.2 seconds left in a game the Lakers lost.

It’s never OK for a player to go after a fan, for any reason, so the fine is justified.

But given the animosity Clippers fans have towards the Lakers and their fans — and now that the Clips actually have a team on the floor that can do a lot more than just compete — I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not at all a surprise that it was a Clippers fan (or fans) who were the ones to get under Blake’s skin.

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.