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.
Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.
When both join forces…
Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.
It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.
Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.
So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.
Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:
The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”
I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.
But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.
Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice
So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.
Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.
Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.
Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.
Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.
But at least the Lakers won.