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Clippers hold 26th Annual “Teamwork At The Table” Event

As they have for over two decades, the Los Angeles Clippers provided local families in need with food, clothing and books at the team’s 26th annual Thanksgiving event, “Teamwork at the Table” today at the St. Joseph Center in Venice, CA.

Clippers players Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, Jordan Farmar, Reggie Bullock, Chris Douglas-Roberts and CJ Wilcox distributed Thanksgiving turkeys and food baskets. In addition to food items, the Clippers provided clothing and books to pre-selected families in need.

For the eighth year, local supermarket chains Ralphs and Food 4 Less teamed up with the Clippers to donate food and turkeys. The Clippers players were joined by members of the U.S. Air Force as part of the NBA Cares Hoops for Troops Program. The Clippers and the NBA have joined together with the Department of Defense on the new “Commitment to Service” initiative built upon four pillars: Leadership, Transition, Community and Health.

St. Joseph Center is a non-profit social service agency that helps over 6,500 individuals annually. The Center’s mission is to provide working poor families, as well as homeless men, women and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.

Ralphs  and  Food  4  Less  believe  in  being  good  corporate citizens by contributing  to  the  diverse  communities  they  serve. Ralphs and Food 4 Less focus on health, education, the fight against hunger, the advancement of women and minorities, and the development of youth.

Blake Griffin A Goon On Halloween In Clippers Win Over Lakers

Just when Los Angles Lakers fans thought it was safe to come out and play, Blake Griffin turned Staples Center into Camp Crystal Lake as his Clippers team drew first blood 118-111.

Griffin, now dawning a beard, had 39 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. He was 11-12 from the free-throw line, but it was his work on the low-post that was most impressive. Once classified as a player in the mold of Shawn Kemp who could only dunk over people, Griffin is now displaying the ability to score on the post with either hand. He is also knocking down his free-throws as to avoid ‘Hack-a-Blake’ treatment.

Chris Paul went a quiet 2-9 for 12 points. The Clippers would not have been able to win games before with that type of production from him. But now Griffin is slowly becoming the engine that powers this team. Although it’s become a guard driven league, scoring point guards who dominate the ball do not historically win you championships- ambidextrous big men who can score with their backs to the basket do.

As Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul continue to be the veteran elder statesmen, Blake Griffin is doing his part to establish a new pecking order in Los Angeles. He and DeAndre Jordan, also known as the ‘Watts Towers’ will make it a match-up nightmare every-night on Figueroa street.





P.A.G.E. 24 – The Lakers Fight For Elbow Room

The Los Angeles Lakers were defeated 108-90 in the opening night of the 2014-2015 NBA season.

James Harden scored a game high 32 points, while Kobe Bryant led his squad with 19 points in 29 minutes. Dwight Howard cleared the air before the game about not leaving for Houston because of Kobe Bryant, only to let a third-quarter elbow to his former teammates jaw spark up new intrigue in the rivalry.

Inside The Numbers

Houston only shot 42% from the field, the problem is the Lakers shot an abysmal 35%.

The Rockets outscored them 36 to 9 from the arc, and James Harden scored 15 points at the charity stripe.

Don’t think the Lakers are missing Nick Young? They only attempted a total of 10 three-point shots. Young is not bashful, and will surely increase the number of attempts from downtown upon his return.

Jordan Hill cannot go 2-7 as the Lakers starting center. Most of those misses were at point blank range, and although he had a double-digit rebounding game, his inefficiency on the offensive end didn’t keep Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard busy long enough on defense.

Ed Davis had an economical 11 points and six rebounds in 22 minutes of play. With rookie Julius Randle out, look for Davis to fulfill the first big man off the bench role.

NBA’s Game Plan Is Straight Outta Compton

It wasn’t just the numerous Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials featuring NFL champion, All-Pro, and Stanford graduate Richard Sherman. You have to also credit the return of Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks, restoring their title hopes.

He may have only been dressed in civvies, but Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard was very much a part of the conversation regarding the San Antonio Spurs after reports that he wants a maximum contract. After playing noteworthy defense against LeBron James on his way to winning a championship and getting a personal design logo for his Jordan brand shoes, Leonard has the leverage to demand to be paid as a star.

Just in time for F. Gary Gray’s upcoming biographic on the trendsetting rap group N.W.A., the City of Compton is experiencing a renaissance through its native sons.

James Harden of Compton returned to Los Angeles ranked as the top shooting guard in the NBA to play against Kobe Bryant and in his triumphant return to the Staples Center. Harden’s response? 32 points on 17 shots and 15 made free-throws, a game high in front of the dozens of family and friends in attendance.

And who did the NBA call to provide the OFFICIAL anthem of the 2014-2015 season? Compton emcee Kendrick Lamar and his track “i.”

From Arron Afflalo of the Denver Nuggets to the Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan, Compton’s boys from the hood have collectively led the mainstream back to the C.P.T.

What’s Beef? Kobe Tried To Squash Dwight/Shaq Fued

The last days of Shaquille O’Neal included some classic public quarreling that The Big Aristotle was known for. Most of the drama was simply Shaq being a shameless self-promoter mixed with the media salivating for a story.

Enter Dwight Howard, who was now parading around the Orlando calling himself Superman. Not only was Howard copying Shaq’s nickname, but he seemed to be emulating his ‘Maybe I’m Too Big For The Orlando Maigc’ style prior to his pending free agency. Shaq set the record straight in a Sports Illustrated interview:

Doesn’t bother me. I can’t be impressed by something I invented in ’92. I mean, you look at what he is doing, I’ve been there and done that. Every street he is driving down in Orlando, I have been on that street. Every nightclub, every restaurant. … I have been there and done that. Until he wins three, four championships, then we can talk about him. But right now, he is just like every other big guy: ‘You can run and jump, but you haven’t won yet.

A recent story quoting numerous anonymous sources painted Kobe Bryant as a pariah who has ex-communicated the Lakers organization due to his nefarious reputation. Dwight Howard has since come out and denied that Bryant was a deterrent in him returning to Los Angeles.

During the 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend, Kobe and Shaq were set to meet for dinner. Dwight Howard caught up with Bryant and was sure to explain to him that he had no beef with Shaq. Bryant, widely thought as an O’Neal nemesis, assured Howard that he’d talk to O’Neal on his behalf.

That’s right- Kobe played peacemaker between Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal.

Rick Fox Had Tunnel Vision In Lakers-Kings Preseason Battle

The Staples Center is made in classic Coliseum spherical style. One can make a complete revolution around the arena through the tunnel area. This allows easy access to both locker-rooms to those with backstage access.

Rick Fox was well aware of this when he cunningly met Doug Christie at the visitors entrance to finish a physical confrontation in a memorable exhibition game from the 2002-2003 NBA season.

The Sacramento Kings suffered a trifecta of defeats in the Western Conference playoffs to the three-time champion Lakers, the last of which was a 7-game heavyweight bout. After going up 2-1 and seizing home-court advantage, the Kings fell victim to Robert Horry’s epic Game 4 shot which served as the coup de grace in the playoff trilogy.

The Kings were flashier, but had been criticized for being too much of a finesse team that could not physically compete with the Alpha’s in the conference. Fox was the Lakers de facto enforcer who had gotten into Peja Stojakovic’s jersey and head in the previous two series. Stojakovic, Christie, and Hedo Turkoglu seemed to have wilted amid the harassment on defense.

The Lakers and Kings squared off in their preseason finale, and it was obvious early on that Sacramento wanted to ditch the soft label. Doug Christie immediately began to blanket Rick Fox on defense and drew an offensive foul after Fox caught him in the jaw with an elbow only two-minutes into the game. They got tangled up and Fox’s left hand slapped Christie in the jaw, who immediately retaliated with an uppercut to Fox’s chin.

After both players got tossed from the game, Fox ran off the court past the Lakers’ locker room and waited for Christie to enter the tunnel. Christie arrived to find Fox who put the unprepared Christie into a headlock. Shaquille O’Neal was involved in the scuffle in the tunnel, but he nor the Sacramento players who left the bench received any suspensions. Fox and Christie received six and two game bans respectively.

Though the teams would not meet again in tournament play, it wouldn’t be the last time they had conflict.

Later that season Shaquille O’Neal became the 28th player in NBA history to score 20,000 points in a Lakers’ 107-99 loss in Sacramento. On top of receiving boos during the halftime announcement of the milestone, someone at Arco Arena defaced the game ball presented to O’Neal.

40 Water Under The Bridge As Bryant Scores 27 Points In 28 Minutes

Kobe Bryant and Gordon Hayward both received lucrative contract extensions during the off-season.

The two battled during exhibition play with Bryant winning the personal battle, while Hayward’s Utah Jazz squad won the war, 119-86.

But that didn’t stop Bryant from jostling in the post with Hayward, once even drawing an offensive foul. As with Steph Curry a few nights earlier, he took on the challenge of fiercely harassing Hayward in a supposedly meaningless game.

Bryant played with purpose after being ranked ESPN as the 40th best-player.

“I’ve known for a long time that they’re a bunch of idiots,” said a wry smiling Bryant.

He continued to display excellent footwork and court savvy, including putting rookie Rodney Hood in the popcorn machine on a three-point play in the first quarter. He is effectively utilizing the screen-roll, and showed he can still get to the basket by driving past Hayward for a dish to Carlos Boozer.

“I would just hate to be one of the guys that doubted him,” Scott said. “I know he’s going to get stronger. I think he’ll have the last laugh.”

Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Carlos Boozer had 17, but the Lakers couldn’t hit from beyond the arc, missing all five attempts.

Former Laker Says Kobe Put The Smack Down And Racks Up

Tony Gaffney may have only spent the 2009-2010 pre-season with the Lakers, but his short time there included some epic rookie hazing.

“There was no difference with the Lakers except no matter how early I showed up for practice, it wasn’t early enough: Kobe was on the court with three trainers doused in sweat,” Gaffney said.

He played at the University of Massachusetts prior to stints with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics before heading overseas. But it was his time spent with Kobe Bryant that will ultimately be the defining moment of his career.

The Lakers had just come off winning an NBA title and the first guy Kobe sees in the gym is myself,” Gaffney said. “He said, ‘Who the hell is this?’” Former Lakers teammate Lamar Odom followed up by telling Gaffney, “Kobe doesn’t like mother****ers like you.”

Bryant learned about Gaffney’s reputation coming out of college as a defensive stopper, leading him to seek on-court confirmation.

“We’re gonna start playing one-on-one,” Bryant told Gaffney. “I heard you’re a defensive lockdown player. So, lock me down.”

“Obviously easier said than done,” claimed Gaffney . “But for about three weeks in a row, I was forced to show up hours before practice to play one-on-one against Kobe. “Oh, and I never got to play offense,” Gaffney said.”

Much to the chagrin of many, Bryant received a lucrative two-year, $48.5-million contract extension this past season. But his actions at a rookie initiation party at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas may indicate he’s receiving a return for paying it forward.

L.A. made it clear that I made the team. I was the last player cut at morning shootaround on opening night against the Clippers,” said Gaffney . “I walked into the high-stakes room, but I didn’t have any money. I then saw Kobe, he was watching some guys throw some money around before he turns to me and says, ‘What are you doing here, rook?

“Next thing I know, Kobe throws his black card on the table and hands me 10 stacks ($10,000). What I really wanted to do at the time was just put it in my pocket and run. Sure enough, an hour later it was all gone.”

The Lakers Have Mad Shoe Game

The Los Angeles Lakers proved they are out to win by any means necessary, as Ronnie Price launched a shoe at Andre Iguodala during the Lakers second pre-season loss to the Golden State Warriors.

‘Splash Brothers’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were as good as advertised, while the suddenly short-handed Lakers are still a work in progress.

In this chronicle of P.A.G.E. 24, we discuss what’s wrong with the Lakers’ offense, trisect Kobe’s horrible shooting night, and how the sons of NBA players are creating their own legacies.

In association with the ‘World-Wide LakerGang 4 LIFE’ #WWLG4L Network, it’s Purple And Gold Everything 24.

 

P.A.G.E. 24 – The Lakers Are A Blood Moon Rising

Kobe Bryant answered the doubters, Steve Nash got to the basket, and rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson showed they are ready to make an immediate impact, as the Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 98-95 in their pre-season opener.

In this chronicle of P.A.G.E. 24, Kobe, Nash, and Coach Byron Scott reflect on the initial victory, and what surprise Laker is an early favorite to be the key X-Factor.

In association with the ‘World-Wide LakerGang 4 LIFE’ #WWLG4L Network, it’s Purple And Gold Everything 24.