Tag: Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz

Philippines claims Jordan Clarkson as natural-born player


The Philippines made Andray Blatche a citizen so he could play for the country’s basketball team

The nation says it won’t have to go to such trouble for Jordan Clarkson, who was born in Florida to a Filipino mother.

Naveen Ganglani of Rappler:

The state of the Philippine national basketball team took an unexpected turn on Monday, August 24, when it was revealed that Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson actually acquired a Philippine passport before turning 16-years-old, making him eligible to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Director Sonny Barrios told Rappler on Monday in a phone call that reports of Clarkson’s eligibility to play as a “natural born” Filipino player were true.

“He’s submitted his documents,” Barrios said. “It has been submitted to FIBA, who’s asking for supporting documents. As we speak, those are being submitted to them.”

“It’s a process that we have to request and honor,” said Barrios, who is still unsure if Clarkson will get to suit up for Gilas in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship as they await FIBA approval. “We have to be patient, and we go by FIBA’s process.”

We’ll see what FIBA says, but Clarkson could be huge for the Philippines. They placed second in 2013 FIBA Asia Championship. A victory in this year’s edition would secure a trip to the 2016 Olympics. Finishing second through fourth would at least send the team to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Basketball has become immensely popular in the Philippines. Stars like LeBron James market themselves there, and Kobe Bryant is revered there.

If Clarkson leads the country to the Olympics, he’ll gain ground on his Lakers teammate. The country is starving for a homegrown star.

Report: Lakers considering bringing back Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace

One of the frequent criticisms of the Lakers is that they are still living in 2008 as an organization. From their choice of Byron Scott as coach and his old-school offensive systems, to their lack of trust in analytics, to their reliance on an aging Kobe Bryant both on the court (see Byron Scott) and off it to sell tickets/sponsorships, it seems like time has frozen with one of the NBA’s storied franchises.

This isn’t going to help any.

The Lakers are considering bringing back Metta World Peace (the former Ron Artest), reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Los Angeles Lakers are discussing the possibility of signing free agent forward Metta World Peace to a one-year contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

No deal has been agreed upon, but there have been talks between the Lakers and World Peace’s representatives, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

There are varying degrees of interest within the Lakers organization about bringing him back to the franchise at 35 years old, but World Peace has been in the Lakers’ practice facility this offseason playing against the team’s players, including 2014 first-round pick Julius Randle, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Varying degrees of interest? This is about like debating if Donald Trump’s hair is real — we all know the answer. Some people may just not want to admit it.

The Lakers have potentially superb young players to help them move into the future — D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle — but this would be a return to the past. And if you’re looking for a veteran mentor, there are better options.

When last we saw MWP on an NBA court, an unimpressive Knicks team waived him in 2014 because he isn’t near the same defender he once was and his offensive game has slipped (he shot just 31 percent from three). Last season he played in Italy where he averaged 13.3 points a game. At age 35, he’s not going to bounce back to NBA levels of play.

World Peace had an impressive NBA career — an All-Star, an NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and a champion. He’ll be remembered fondly for his colorful antics, and not as fondly for things like the Malice in the Palace. But he had a fantastic NBA career.

One that should be over.

I’d like to say they can’t be serious, but the Lakers are hard to read lately.

Alvin Gentry understands great opportunity, challenge coaching Anthony Davis

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans - Game Four

At any one time in the NBA, there are at best a handful of guys who will go down as legendary, all-time great NBA players. The men mentioned in the same breath as the best ever to lace them up. Right now there is LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan…

And Anthony Davis.

Davis is just 22, and we are a decade from knowing if he should ultimately be compared to the Duncans and LeBrons of the game — but he is on that trajectory. After just three NBA seasons, he is undoubtedly a top five NBA player and arguably in the top two. His PER of 30.8 last season was 11th best all time in the NBA; the only people ahead of him are named LeBron, Chamberlain, and Jordan. He will wear the crown of best player on the planet in a few years. He has an NCAA title, an Olympic gold medal, two All-Star games and one All-NBA Team to his credit, and he’s still just tapping into how great he can be.

It falls in part to new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry to help him reach his potential.

No pressure.

Gentry talked with NBA.com’s Ian Thompson about that burden, what he has spoken with Davis about, and what he has to do as a coach to guide Davis to that potential.

“It is up to us to make him as good as he can possibly be, and not settle for him to be less than great in this area or that area. I told him that I have no doubt that he is going to be an MVP in this league. And I said to him, ‘We are going to be really, really good if you also win Defensive Player of the Year….’

“It’s like I said to him: As great as he is right now, I see his game expanding in so many areas,” says Gentry of Davis. “And the thing I like about it is he is still willing to learn. I sent Darren Erman, who is my associate head coach and defensive coordinator, to work with him, and he showed him a couple of little things from last year that he had to improve on. And every day Anthony has been working on them. Every single day. Guys usually don’t work on defensive things when you are having a workout, but he has been great at it.

“He is just a special player, and we can’t set limits on him. We have to try to take him to a level that he didn’t feel he could get to — or that no one thought he could get to. We have got to make the sky the limit for him.”

Gentry picked another great player with a legendary work ethic as a potential role model for Davis — Kevin Garnett.

“I told Anthony this — and I think it’s very important — about Kevin Garnett,” says Gentry. “I never had the opportunity to coach him, but I know guys that coached him, and they say that every day Kevin Garnett came into the gym, he had to know that when he left he was a little bit better than he was yesterday.”

Gentry’s style will help here, too. Gentry wants the game to be fun (something he said Steve Kerr emphasized last year). He wants the Pelicans to play faster, which will help Davis both get some transition buckets and get deep position more often. He has emphasized defense (the Pelicans struggled on that end last season). New Orleans is going to take a step forward this season, the only question is now big (and how far they can go in a loaded West).

But in a lot of ways, Gentry’s job (and GM Dell Demps’ job) is to get everything around Davis right. Davis himself will be amazing, but as we have seen through LeBron’s career the players around him will matter, getting those players to buy into the system will matter. Davis isn’t winning rings — which he will need for his legacy — by himself.

It’s a lot of pressure, but there may be no guy more ready for it than Gentry.