The one word never associated with the Lakers: boring.
On and off the floor, the Lakers keep it interesting, from unique skill sets and backgrounds to off-court chemistry and the latest kicks.
Here’s a quick run-through of another week with the Lake Show.
1) JaVale’s flu game (in Michael’s house)
JaVale McGee went into warrior mode for the Lakers’ win over Charlotte, putting together an impressive performance despite being drained by the flu.
McGee — who had to take an IV drip before the game — did much more than just participate, dropping 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting with three blocks.
“You can’t let little things like the flu keep you from doing your job,” said McGee, who also crammed five dunks at the Hornets’ expense.
McGee’s value has been obvious, as the Lakers have lost back-to-back games since the flu has gotten the better of him.
But he powered through that Charlotte game to deliver victory with Hornets owner Michael Jordan — hero of the NBA’s most iconic flu game — in attendance. And JaVale had some fun with that fact after, posting an image of him and LeBron James edited onto the famous photo of MJ and Scottie Pippen.
2) Lance’s pregame show
“Practice how you play” is an old basketball adage. If there’s one player brash enough to break out the following crazy shots in a game, it’s Lance Stephenson.
Lance shared some footage from the Lakers’ warmups in Washington, where he broke out a couple of on-brand trick shots.
There was a casual, over-the-shoulder bank shot that earned a double-take from Kyle Kuzma, but the follow-up might have been even better.
Standing at the free throw line, Stephenson bounced the ball behind his back, off the glass and into the cup.
3) Hart showing heart
Josh Hart lost control of the ball on a fast-break in Charlotte, and he made up for it in the most Josh Hart way possible.
First he saved the ball from going out of bounds, falling head-first over a row of seats in the process. But Hart wasn’t done with the hustle plays on this possession.
He rejoined the action just in time to hit the glass, getting up and punching an offensive rebound out to a teammate to give the Lakers yet another chance.
4) Meanwhile, in El Segundo…
With their teammates on the road, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram were back home rehabbing from their respective injuries by practicing with the South Bay Lakers.
Rondo embraced his sessions with the G League affiliate by participating in one of South Bay’s traditions.
They often have the team huddle up while one of the players reads motivational sayings in dramatic fashion. (Isaac Bonga had an unforgettable turn.)
Rondo might have topped Bonga with this one, getting the whole squad fired up.
Rajon Rondo brought some #OurWay motivation to today’s practice. #SBLakers https://t.co/fKIi0o133Z pic.twitter.com/WncRPSRyH5
— South Bay Lakers (@SouthBayLakers) December 18, 2018
5) The King’s dominance against the Queen City
LeBron James won his first game with the Lakers against Charlotte, but that was hardly a new development.
James has, incredibly, won 31 of his last 32 games against the Hornets — a run of dominance impressive even by his all-time-great standards. (Kemba Walker, Charlotte’s all-time scoring leader, is 0-27 head-to-head against LeBron.)
How long has this stretch lasted? The first game was between the Heat and the Bobcats. LeBron changed teams twice since then, while Charlotte changed its entire team identity.
The run started on Nov. 19, 2010, which was also the release date for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One.” Since then, we’ve gotten three more Potter films, and LeBron still hasn’t let up on Charlotte.
And James has more than just win against Charlotte. In 2014, he dropped a career-high 61 points on the then-Bobcats. A month later, he swept them out of the playoffs.
Maybe Charlotteans will be able to appreciate him better when he isn’t playing their team in February, when he is expected to return for the NBA All-Star Game.
Source: Los Angeles Lakers