Tag: NBA Champion

Stephen Curry Scores Record-Breaking $201 Million Contract with Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry (photo: Getty Images)

by Latifah Muhammad via vibe.com

The Golden State Warriors want to make sure Stephen Curry feels appreciated. Curry is set to become the highest paid player in NBA history after scoring a record-breaking $201 million contract with the team. Bob Myers, Golden State’s general manager revealed Friday (June 30) that Curry’s multi-million dollar deal is scheduled to be finalized after his free agency ends on July 3.

The 29-year-old point guard joined the Warriors in 2009 as a seventh-round overall pick. At the time, Curry’s contract was worth $12.7 million over four years, and it’s clear that he’s made an impression not only on the league but the team that he has called home since beginning his professional career. In the last few years, the two-time MVP has helped lead the Warriors win double NBA championships, and arguably reinvigorated the Bay Area franchise.

To read more, go to: Stephen Curry Scores Record-Breaking $201 Million Contract

Shaquille O’Neal Honored by Los Angeles Lakers with Statue in Front of Staples Center in Los Angeles

Shaquille O’Neal and his Statute (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

article by Chelsea Edwards and Rob Fukuzaki via abc7.com

A 9-foot, 1,200-pound bronze statue of Laker great Shaquille O’Neal was unveiled in the front of Staples Center in  Friday. The statue, which is connected to Staples Center and suspended 10 feet off the ground, was brought to downtown Los Angeles on Thursday prior to the unveiling ceremony.

The ceremony at Star Plaza outside Staples Center included live music, a Ferris wheel, interactive games as well as speeches from O’Neal himself and his teammates, colleagues and friends. Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Jerry West, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke at the event.

“I just want to say thank you. I’ve learned so much from you as a player. Everything you’ve done for this city, everything you’ve done for this franchise,” Bryant said. “Kids, your kids, you guys should know your dad was a bad man. Congratulations and much love to you, my brother.”

A few of O’Neal’s six children also spoke during the ceremony and helped him unveil the massive statue hanging above the ground. O’Neal thanked Jerry West, his former teammates and, of course, the fans for believing in him throughout his career. “This moment is very unexpected because I see two Lakers ahead of me that definitely deserve this statue,” he said. “To the fans, you know I love you, and I just wanted you to know that I heard you in the games when I was missing free throws.”

At the end of his speech, he chanted, “Can you dig it?” to a cheerful crowd. O’Neal played for the Lakers from 1996 to 2004, leading the team to three consecutive NBA championships and winning the NBA finals MVP award each time.

Source: Shaquille O’Neal honored with statue in front of Staples Center | abc7.com

L.A. Lakers Legend Magic Johnson Takes Consulting Position with Former Team to Advise Ownership

NBA and Lakers Legend Magic Johnson (photo via latimes.com)

article by Tania Ganguli via latimes.com

In his first public comments since being hired as an advisor to Lakers governor and co-owner Jeanie Buss, Magic Johnson tread softly about the Lakers executive of whom he has been most critical through the years.  His role, he said, was simply to help in any way he could.

“Jim [Buss] is calling the shots,” Johnson said during an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, the station that holds the rights to Laker broadcasts. “I want him to understand I’m just here to lend advice.”The Lakers hired Johnson on Thursday, two weeks after Johnson and Jeanie Buss were seen having dinner before watching a Lakers game together. Johnson’s duties will include “collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, and helping ownership to determine the best path for growth and success,” according to a release on the team website.

Johnson, who was not available to other media outlets, described a versatile role, where he will advise team executives and employees on everything from business to basketball should they want it.He also indicated he did not want to force his way into any situation. He said he was open to helping Lakers Coach Luke Walton in working with players, but also open to being uninvolved in the players’ day-to-day development if Walton was comfortable with that.  “What I want to do is try to just, little by little build the Lakers back up to where they should be,” Johnson said.

Johnson spent 13 seasons playing for the Lakers, winning five championships and three MVP awards. During that time, he grew especially close with late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Jeanie and Jim’s father. The elder Buss sold an ownership stake in the organization to Johnson after he retired from playing. Johnson, who also has an ownership stake in the Dodgers and Sparks, sold his share of the Lakers in 2010.

To read full article, go to: Lakers hire Magic Johnson to advise ownership – LA Times

Los Angeles Lakers Hire Byron Scott as New Head Coach

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Former New Orleans Hornets Coach Byron Scott, left, shares a laugh with referee Pat Fraher during a game against the Seattle SuperSonics in 2005. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

The Lakers have officially hired former Laker Byron Scott as their next coach, ending a search of almost three months by choosing a familiar name to Lakers followers.  Scott comes with a built-in advantage over the last two Lakers coaches because he didn’t replace Phil Jackson in 2011 and wasn’t chosen instead of Jackson in 2012.

He also has a solid relationship with Kobe Bryant and the Buss family, not to mention familiarity with Lakers fans who remember his role on three championship teams in the 1980s.

Scott, 53, has a four-year deal for $17 million, with a team option for the fourth year. The Lakers will formally introduce him as their coach at a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday.

“I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside [Lakers General Manager] Mitch [Kupchak] and the Buss family,” Scott said in a statement released by the Lakers. “I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves.”

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LeBron James is Named AP Male Athlete of the Year

LeBron JamesMIAMI (AP) — The only thing that keeps LeBron James up worrying at night is basketball, which simultaneously makes perfect sense and no sense.  On one hand, he’s the game’s best player.  On the other, he’s rarely impressed with himself.  Even after a year like 2013 — when a spectacular wedding, a second NBA championship and a fourth MVP award were among the many highlights enjoyed by the Miami Heat star — he still is, as he puts it, striving for greatness. Or, technically, more greatness, since his enormous list of accomplishments just keeps growing.

James was announced Thursday as The Associated Press’ 2013 male athlete of the year, becoming the third basketball player to capture the award that has been annually awarded since 1931. James received 31 of 96 votes cast in a poll of news organizations, beating Peyton Manning (20) and Jimmie Johnson (7).

“I’m chasing something and it’s bigger than me as a basketball player,” James told the AP. “I believe my calling is much higher than being a basketball player. I can inspire people. Youth is huge to me. If I can get kids to look at me as a role model, as a leader, a superhero … those things mean so much, and that’s what I think I was built for. I was put here for this lovely game of basketball, but I don’t think this is the biggest role that I’m going to have.”

LEBRON DUNK 1: An amazing pass from Wade

LEBRON DUNK 2: Even better catch on this one

Past winners include Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, Carl Lewis, Joe Montana, Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps. Serena Williams was the AP Female Athlete of the Year, announced Wednesday.

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Happy 50th Birthday, NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan

Michael JordanMichael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials, MJ, was born on February 17, 1963 and is a six-time NBA champion as well as six-time MVP with the Chicago Bulls.  He is currently the majority owner and chairman of the Charlotte Bobcats and is considered the greatest basketball player of all time.  Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.

To learn more about his life and career, click here and to watch him in action, click on the video below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson