Byron Mullens, after barely leaving the bench in his first two seasons with the Thunder, quietly became an alright-looking player with the Bobcats.
I say alright-looking, because he scored 14.9 and 14.2 points per 36 minutes in his two seasons with the Bobcats. But he took a lot of long 2s, didn’t shoot them that efficiently, rebounded at an underwhelming rate for his size and didn’t do much else. Basically, the closer you examine, the less appealing Mullens is.
But at least he’s shown he belongs in the NBA, which is an improvement from Oklahoma City. And the Lakers might even give him a raise.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Lakers had precious few resources to upgrade their team this offseason, namely the No. 48 pick in the draft and the taxpayer mid-level exception (a three-year contract that could pay up to $3,183,000, $
They drafted Duke’s Ryan Kelly, an outside shooting big who seems to be a great fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system, with their second-round pick. Now. they might use their taxpayer mid-level exception on Mullens, another outside-shooting big man who fits D’Antoni’s system.
Perhaps, this is a sign the Lakers really believe in D’Antoni. Or maybe they’re foolishly filling their roster with marginal players who won’t fit the next system nearly as well once they fire D’Antoni midseason.
But, so far, the Lakers are giving D’Antoni the tools to succeed. Of course, the biggest tool is Dwight Howard, who’s still undecided.
Memphis came back on an 18-2 run late to in the fourth quarter to knock off the Houston Rockets, a very impressive road win that reminds us Memphis is not a team to be written off.
This is the play everyone will be talking about — James Harden squared up looking for a fight.
Mario Chalmers got knocked down by a Harden screen, and while on the ground tries to trip up Harden, and Harden turns around and shoves him. Harden squared up, but as happens in the NBA everyone stepped in, and nothing actually happened.
Neither man was ejected. The referees called it an offensive foul on Harden for the pick, then there were double technicals. Fines may follow from the league.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Metta World Peace has joined the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA G League affiliate as a player development coach.
The veteran NBA forward was added to the South Bay Lakers’ staff Monday.
World Peace played 16 NBA seasons for six franchises, including six years with the Lakers from 2009-10 and 2015-17. He was a standout defensive player who won a championship alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in 2010.
While he hasn’t publicly retired, the forward formerly known as Ron Artest will assist South Bay Lakers head coach Coby Karl and his staff.
World Peace earned the longest suspension in NBA history for his role in the Indiana Pacers’ infamous brawl in the stands at Detroit in November 2004, but he matured into a valued veteran leader for the Lakers.
“I told him after the game, due to all the riffraff his dad brings he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him. He’s got to be ready for that, and I let him know after the game… (I had to) welcome his little young a** to the NBA.”
That was the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley after he tormented Lonzo Ball on opening night, and he speaks for a number of other players I have heard from who said father LaVar wrote checks that Lonzo is going to have to cash, and guys were going to go at him. Not every night, but enough.
Since that rough opener the rookie has had a decent couple of games — averaging 18.5 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds a night, not efficient but playing better — going against Eric Bledsoe (a capable defender who had checked out mentally in Phoenix) and Jrue Holiday and the Pelicans. Wednesday night John Wall and the Wizards come to town, and that’s another level of competition.
My least favorite thing about this Lakers season is the way the L.A. media sticks a microphone in front of LaVar Ball after every game. I don’t care about LaVar, in the same way I don’t care about the Kardashians.
But what he said has become a thing. After the Lakers loss to the Pelicans LaVar said, “[The Wizards] better beware cause Lonzo ain’t losing again. Not in the same week!”
Wizards’ center Marcin Gortat thought that was funny.
First off, Lonzo is going to lose twice in a week a lot this season — the Lakers are not a good team.
Second, Wall is a top-five NBA point guard by any standard, an All-NBA player who is far more than just quick (although he is that, too). He can shoot, he’s an aggressive defender, and he knows how to set up teammates. He’s going to be more than a handful for Ball. To put it kindly.
Whatever happens Wednesday night (most likely Wall smokes Lonzo) we know one thing for sure: LaVar will say something outlandish. And it will become a thing. The game is secondary for that marketing effort.
The Lakers have gone a few different directions with alternate uniforms in recent years, such as the black version, but when you have a classic brand you shouldn’t mess with it. Same with the Celtics, Bulls, Sixers, and other classic uniforms — if you’re going to go alternate then go older.
The Lakers are doing just that — going back to Minneapolis.
They are breaking out the George Mikan era jerseys, starting on Wednesday vs. Wizards and in four other games later in the season.
I like it.
Now if the Lakers could get George Mikan in the paint it would help.