Byron Scott ‘angry’ with Lakers’ celebration after beating Celtics


Kobe Bryant expertly used subtext to express his displeasure with Nick Young, Jordan Hill and Carlos Boozer hamming it up after the Lakers beat the Celtics on Sunday.

Lakers coach Byron Scott agreed with his star, but he was a bit more straightforward.

Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

Byron Scott said he was “angry” and “very disappointed” with how some of his players boisterously celebrated Sunday night after an overtime win against the rival Boston Celtics

“Kobe’s reaction was pretty much my reaction when I was watching it,” Scott said after practice Tuesday at the Lakers’ facility. “I was just shaking my head like, ‘I can’t believe this.’ ”

Scott said he showed his players the footage Tuesday morning and “just told them that I was disappointed in it. That’s not us as Lakers. That’s not how we act. It showed a lack of professionalism.”

To whatever degree the Lakers are tanking to keep their top-five protected first-round pick, they’re also trying to avoid short-term embarrassment.

Signing Young to a four-year, $21.5 million contract was not a tanking move. Signing Hill to a two-year, $18 million contract was not a tanking move. Claiming a well-into-his-30s Boozer on waivers was not a tanking move.

The Lakers are relying on those veterans to remain respectable, which they surely hope will keep fans coming and free agents interested. The Lakers carry a certain prestige that will be maintained only through winning.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with appreciating a win over a historic rival. It must be tough for these players to go through such a miserable season. Imagine how much more difficult it’d be if they couldn’t enjoy the few moments worth celebrating.

I’m not sure whether the old-school Scott views it the same way, seeing a need to balance the Lakers’ cachet with his players’ desire to express themselves. He might just want them to always act like they’ve been there before.

But if he has any doubt, you can bet he’s siding with Kobe.

Kobe gives death stare when shown clip of Jeremy Lin, Nick Young celebrating wildly after win over Celtics


There’s a lot of losing in Lakerland these days, so it’s understandable that Nick Young, Jordan Hill and Jeremy Lin would get a little crazy in celebrating a regular season overtime win over the 20-33 Celtics.

Unless, of course, you’re Kobe Bryant.

Bryant appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday, and at the 1:30 mark of the video, was shown the clip to gauge his reaction.

It was as glorious as we could have imagined.

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Lakers coaches play trade deadline prank on Jordan Hill


The trade deadline is a stressful time for players who know that their name will come up repeatedly in talks of deals with other teams, and some use that very real situation to have a laugh at those guys’ expense.

The Lakers coaching staff was the latest to have some fun with it, pulling an old prank on Jordan Hill that had him thinking he was on his way out.

From Bill Oram of The Orange County Register:

The Lakers do not play again until Friday against Brooklyn. The Lakers have a handful of players who could be attractive to suitors, starting with forward Jordan Hill. Hill’s contract carries a team option for next season, so he could be a cheap rental for a team looking to add frontcourt depth before the playoffs.

Hill was the victim of an age-old prank Wednesday when coaches told him Kupchak wanted to see him.

“He just started walking,” Scott said, “(and was) like ‘What’s wrong? What’s up?’ Then we just started laughing.”

That’s cold, man.

But in the midst of such a disastrous Lakers season, those living through it daily can hardly be blamed for trying to inject some levity into the situation.

Five guys most likely to be moved at trade deadline (but don’t be shocked if few are)


I think only two things feel certain at the trade deadline:

1) Somebody we didn’t expect will get moved (not likely a big name, but a solid player). It happens every year.

2) It’s going to be a bit of a slow deadline, and not all the guys on the list below will get moved. It’s possible none of them get moved. It is far more likely that none of them get moved than a majority of them.

But with less than 24 hours to go before the Feb. 19 NBA trade deadline (the cutoff time is 3 ET), here are the five guys most being talked about around the league.

1) Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns. Last weekend the feeling around the league was that Phoenix would keep Dragic and trade Isaiah Thomas in an effort to balance their roster. Then Dragic’s agents went in told the Suns’ management that the free agent to be will not re-sign with them. That changed the game, the Suns need to move him or risk getting nothing in return — but it also set up another game altogether. Dragic wants to go to a big market where he will have freedom to create in the system — his agents gave the Suns a list that included the Lakers, Knicks, and Heat. However, if they are going to trade him all the Suns care about is getting as much back as possible, they have no concerns for where Dragic wants to go. The Lakers and Knicks don’t have assets anyone wants (no Lakers’ fans, nobody wants Jordan Hill and Steve Nash) while Miami’s offers have not wowed the Suns. Instead, Phoenix is talking in depth with the Celtics, Rockets, and Kings. Those three teams are willing to gamble that if they get Dragic in for half a season they can sell him on their cities and teams, then offer him a five-year contract (other teams will only be able to offer four) and that will be enough to retain him. The Suns could decide they don’t like any trade offers and just keep him and dare him to walk away from the extra contract year (we’re talking more than $20 million guaranteed). But more likely they trade him somewhere he didn’t want to be, which sets up another showdown.

2) Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets. No team may be more active at the deadline than the Nuggets, and no player is drawing more interest than Wilson Chandler. Teams that could use wing help have their eye on him, as he brings 14 points and 6 rebounds a game, plus quality defense. Portland may have the most attractive package: Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, and a future first round pick. The Clippers want to get in the dance and are toying with trading Jamal Crawford for a future first round pick, which would be flipped for Chandler (along with other players). That has not been near enough to move the needle on a deal so far for Denver, will they take the best offer at the deadline or just hold on to him?

3) Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder. He has wanted to run his own team for a while, and when OKC went out and got Dion Waiters to steal some of Jackson’s minutes the drive to get out of town grew stronger. Jackson’s agent has requested the player be traded. The Thunder likely want to make a deal, if they can shed a couple million they can get below the luxury tax line (and they should try to do so since they are close). The problem for OKC is everybody knows Jackson wants out, and they know he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, so why offer much of anything to get him now? The Thunder likely have to take far less than equal value to get a deal done, but they may well live with that.

4) Arron Afflalo, Denver Nuggets. With the Nuggets asking a lot to get in the Chandler sweepstakes, this may be the more likely solid wing player on the move. The Kings are the team most interested and aggressive right now, offering Nik Stauskas as the centerpiece, reports Ken Berger of

5) Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz. With Utah more and more seeing the Rudy Gobert/Derrick Favors combo as the front line of the future, Kanter is the odd big out — and he wants out, having his agent request a trade. Kanter will be a restricted free agent this summer, but that is not motivating the Jazz, who have requested a lot back in return for a deal (a quality young player and a pick). That said, there are several teams interested including the Bucks.

While trade rumors fly, most likely outcome is Suns keep Goran Dragic


There is some logic to why Goran Dragic trade rumors will fly everywhere until the trade deadline Thursday (Feb. 19): He is an unrestricted free agent this summer, he could walk and the Suns would get nothing in return, so they should move him now and at least get something. Besides, with three score-first guards (Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas) the Suns need a big to balance the roster.

However, the far, far more likely option is Phoenix keeps him.

He is key to the Suns’ offense and if they want to cling to the eight seed in the West (they are just half a game ahead of the Thunder for that last playoff spot) they need him. The Suns and Dragic are talking about all of this, reported Adian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The real problem with the Suns making a Dragic trade under deadline pressure is they would almost certainly come out the losers — they would not get anywhere near equal value back. They could use a rim-protecting big man, but the teams that have those are not giving them up. Zach Lowe broke it all down at Grantland.

The Suns want to make the playoffs. Even if they’re afraid Dragic walks, they can’t afford to toss him away without getting a real player in return.

It’s very hard to find a good big man on a team that might be willing to deal for Dragic on an expiring contract. The Rockets loom, and while the Lakers always bank on the glitz of L.A., I’m not sure Jordan Hill cuts it as a frontcourt upgrade for Phoenix. As I reported in December, other teams have long felt that Phoenix would prefer dealing Isaiah Thomas; he has three years left on a contract that declines in value every season, and that opens up a broader trade market.

The Suns will listen to Dragic trade calls this week, but likely not make a move. Not unless someone unexpectedly blows their doors off. Then this summer they will work to re-sign Dragic followed by trading Thomas to fill a need.