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Rumor: Paul George told former Pacers teammates he wanted to join the Lakers

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Paul George to the Lakers is a capital-T thing.

George is from Southern California, and he keeps indicating his dissatisfaction with the Pacers. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Even Lakers president Magic Johnson is talking about George.

Where do rumors like this originate?

Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News:

A SoCal native, he’s been talking about playing for his hometown team, the Lakers, for a long time. He’s never made his long-term intentions a secret within the Pacers’ locker room, according to former teammates. He wants to wear the purple and gold.

Did George say he dreamed of playing for the Lakers growing up? Did he say it’d be cool to join his boyhood favorite team if the situation presented itself? Or did he say he wanted to get the heck out of Indiana to join the Lakers as soon as possible?

There are so many ways his comments to teammates could get misconstrued as they get passed down in the game of telephone.

But the Lakers threat – to whatever degree it’s real – looms, and it’ll impact how the Pacers handle their offseason.

Magic Johnson winks at bringing Paul George to Lakers

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Paul George-to-the-Lakers rumors have swirled for a while.

New Lakers president Magic Johnson will only fuel them.

Asked how he’d interact with the Pacers star to avoid tampering if they ran into each other, Johnson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

We’re going to say hi, because we know each other. You just can’t say, “Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,” even though I’m going to be wink-winking like [blinks repeatedly]. You know what that means, right?

In explaining how he’d avoid tampering, Johnson probably tampered. Accidental tampering appears to be his specialty.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement says team employees can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.” But the league arbitrarily enforces tampering, so who knows whether he’ll be punished?

Johnson almost certainly could have gotten away with the hypothetical conversation he laid out. But going on television and describing it — even as fantasy, even not directly to George — could constitute tampering in itself,

If Johnson helps attract George to Los Angeles, it’d well be worth it. At least he’s trying something.

Kobe Bryant’s new Canvas video is brought to you by the letter O (for Obsession)

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Kobe Bryant’s Canvas series returned to our television screen on Saturday. The Sesame Street-like videos center around finding a place to draw motivation from in order to, as the most recent video says, dominate the will of your opponent.

They’re … weird.

They are also extremely Kobe-ish in that they stay true to the former Los Angeles Lakers great’s internal vision of how to play basketball.

The last one we saw was all about finding a musecage, and using your dark thoughts to propel you to win. This one is all about obsession, and how that emotion separates those who like to win from true competitors.

I’m personally all for these videos. They are maybe a little cheesy, or single-minded, but that’s sort of the point. It accurately reflects Kobe, which is something you don’t often see from retired players trying to transition their brand from player to former player.

Watch LeBron James pass Kobe Bryant on the NBA all-time playoff scoring list (VIDEO)

AP
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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is one of the NBA’s all-time greats, and his playoff record is stellar. On Thursday, the Akron native surpassed another important milestone for his career.

With a shot against the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of their first round matchup, LeBron passed none other than Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant on the all-time NBA playoff scoring list.

The play game in the second quarter with Pacers star Paul George guarding him. James worked his way into the lane, then gave a pump fake to draw the and-1 on George.

Via Twitter:

LeBron is now some 100 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and 300 points behind Michael Jordan for the No. 1 spot.

Later in the game LeBron would go on to pass Kobe for made 3-pointers in the playoffs.

Report: Jerry West wants job offer from Lakers, but it’s not coming

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
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Warriors consultant Jerry West was reportedly intrigued by joining the Lakers’ front office, which he ran for 18 years (winning five championships and setting the stage for a couple more) and where his son (Ryan West) works.

Mark Heisler of The Orange County Register:

These days the Lakers don’t even do no-brainers, like inviting Jerry West back in a consultant’s role like the one he has with the Warriors. A Lakers insider told me it’s not happening … even though the Lakers are aware West would love to be asked back.

The reason cited isn’t much different than what Jim Buss felt: They don’t think they need West.

Not only did West guide the Lakers in multiple championship eras, he later turned around the Grizzlies and provided a valuable voice in Golden State. He’d be an asset, and his time with the Warriors shows he could operate in support of Magic Johnson rather than undermining the new team president.

But if this report is to be believed, the Lakers’ trend of hiring of hiring executives based largely on their playing success with the franchise apparently ends once the former player acquires relevant experience.