Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Weirdest Stories of the Long NBA Offseason
Nothing beats writing about good things the Los Angeles Lakers are doing on the basketball court, but with the current lockout set to last at least through the middle of December, no one knows when the team will be on a basketball court again.
Despite the lockout, there have been stories involving team members to keep all deprived fans entertained through the extended offseason.
Let’s take a look back at the five weirdest Lakers stories that have surfaced since the team was eliminated last May.
5. Kobe Bryant Heads to Germany
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Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the postseason, Kobe Bryant went to Germany for an experimental procedure in hopes of fixing his ailing right knee.
Thanks to the lockout, the verdict is still out if the procedure was worth the trouble.
If the procedure proves successful, all Lakers fans should send a collective thank you note to the German doctors.
4. Mike Brown Hired as Coach
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While the hiring of Mike Brown as head coach may not be considered weird per se, it certainly has fans scratching their heads, considering there were other candidates who were thought to have a better chance at the vacancy, including longtime assistant Brian Shaw.
It was assumed Shaw was going to be the successor to Phil Jackson. Shaw was Jackson’s primary assistant for many seasons, in addition to having a strong relationship with Kobe Bryant and other players on the roster.
But Jim and Jerry Buss decided to turn the page completely on the Phil Jackson era, hiring Brown instead.
In a recent report, Shaw talks about how during his interview, Jim Buss openly criticized Jackson’s coaching philosophy.
Shortly after the Lakers hired Brown, Shaw was hired as an assistant for the Indiana Pacers.
3. Kobe Bryant Lays the Smackdown at Church
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In August, reports surfaced Kobe Bryant was involved in a tussle at a church in San Diego. Kobe thought a man was secretly taking photos of him and his wife with his cell phone.
Kobe forcefully grabbed the cell phone from the man, who later claimed he had to go to a hospital because Kobe injured his wrist during the altercation.
What makes this story even more embarrassing is that according to the report, Kobe found no pictures of himself or his wife on the man’s phone.
2. Shaquille O'Neal Shows His Scary Side
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In Shaquille O’Neal’s new book, Shaq Uncut, which hit bookstores yesterday, the three-time NBA Finals MVP revealed that he once threatened to kill Kobe Bryant after Bryant trash-talked him in an interview with Jim Gray early in the 2003-04 season.
1. Now Introducing Metta World Peace
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On September 16th, Ron Artest officially became Metta World Peace. Artest’s attempt to change his name initially hit a road block after it was discovered the former Defensive Player of The Year had unpaid parking tickets.
Three days after his name change, Artest made his appearance on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Artest’s basketball moves didn’t translate well to the dance floor, however.
Mr. Peace was the first contestant eliminated from the show.