Tag Archives: Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers Star Visits Community Chevrolet, Greets Fans

Times have been tough in recent years Los Angeles Lakers fans. But as the 2017-18 is about to begin, many feel the only direction the franchise is going is up.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Some of those fans were on hand Saturday afternoon at Community Chevrolet as starting power forward Julius Randle signed autographs and took pictures with fans.

Randle, who will turn 23 next month, is in his fourth year with the team. Last season he averaged 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.  He was the seventh overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Oscar Mendoza, who lives in the San Fernando Valley, was the first fan in line waiting to greet Randle.

“The very first thing I enjoyed about Julius Randle is that he went and sought advice from James Worthy, who helped him work on his drop step. Down in the paint, I think he’s unguardable,” Mendoza said. “If he gets the ball in his hands and he gets that drop step, he’s going to score.  I love that he’s a lefty. He’s been working on his right. We don’t have too many players going left strong.”

Omar Tinoco drove all the way from Palm Springs to see Randle.

“I grew up with the Showtime Lakers and I’m waiting for the team to get back to that point. It is nice to see all these young guys finally pulling together,” Tinoco said. “I’ve liked him (Randle) since Kentucky. He’s big man that has good movement and can move his feet. We kind of lacking in that area for a while.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Randle said he likes what he has seen so far in the preseason. When asked what he is most looking forward to, he said it is the process of growing every day.

“It has been great. It has been very competitive,” Randle said of training camp. “The guys have come in with great energy and every day is looking to compete.”

Fan Armen Navasardyan of Glendale shared his thoughts of the Lakers.

“I think with the new management the Lakers have improved a lot. Obviously, they don’t have the best expectations,” Navasardyan said. “This is a team that has a lot of potential. They’re definitely going to improve a lot. As far as the playoffs it still seems out of reach, but the sky is the limit for this team.”

Randle said playing under Hall of Famer and current Lakers President of Operations Magic Johnson has kept players motivated.

“Magic expects a lot out of us. To have that expectation and standard that he gives us every day (is great),” he said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

 

Randle said he tries to keep goals simple.

“We look at it as taking one day at a time. We’re always trying to fight for the playoffs,” Randall said. “You have to continue to get better every day as a team. The playoffs (are) the big picture, but we have to win those small battles every day and learn how to get better every day.”

Randle said he is looking forward to playing with rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.

“Zo has been great. He’s a pass-first point guard. He gets everybody involved and makes everyone better so it is contagious to play with him,” Randle said.

Lakers Rookie Visits Burbank Car Dealership

It hasn’t been the easiest week Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell.

Russell has been in the news this week after a private conversation with teammate Nick Young was recorded and later leaked.

Still the 20-year-old had many supporters who greeted him at Community Chevrolet Saturday afternoon.

Russell, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, signed autographs and took photographs with fans at the Olive Ave. dealership.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Community Chevrolet General Manager Chad Kelman said he was able to get Russell to come to the dealership as part of a deal made when the dealership sold the player a Corvette.

“He’s a real nice guy. I’ve met him a few times and he wants to take care of the community,” Kelman said. “He’s a big fan of Los Angeles. He’s committed to the area and he loves it here and wants to make sure he’s part of the fabric of it.”

Russell was not made available to speak to the media by Creative Artists Agency, which represents him.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Fans showed up as early as 8 a.m. for the event that was scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Former Burroughs High football player Daniel Hernandez and his brother Paul were the first in line.

“It’s honestly exciting. He’s going to be a future All Star. To get to meet him and get an autograph from him is amazing. In the future it is going to be amazing to look back on this day and say I got to meet him,” Daniel Hernandez said.

Hernandez said Russell could be the player the Lakers build their future around following the retirement of Kobe Bryant.

“Like Kobe said ‘He has to earn the torch, it doesn’t get passed to him’, but he can definitely earn it,” Hernandez added. “He’s already showing that he’s got thick skin in light of this week.  He was amazing against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. “

Hernandez said his opinion of Russell has not changed in light of the incident he has made headlines for.

“It’s unfortunate. He’s young. It doesn’t make an excuse that he’s young,” Hernandez said. “Hopefully he’ll learn from this.  It’s a rookie mistake.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Jason O’Hara drove from Agoura Hills to see Russell.

“As far as D’Angelo and what he’s going through with everyone on the team, things leak out,” O’Hara said.  “I think it’s (the fault of) who got a hold of what had happened and how they went about it.

The event in Burbank at Community Chevrolet is a good event as far as him trying to get back into the limelight for him to get people to love him again. “

Cole Vietor, a Cal State Northridge student, was also quick to defend Russell.

“I don’t think he has a maturity issue. I think he’s just a 19-year-old kid.  We’ve all done things that are questionable,” Vietor said. “Nobody knows the full story behind his latest drama with Nick Young.  He’s definitely a great player with a bunch of raw basketball talent.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Russell’s brother Antonio accompanied him to the event. Antonio Russell lives with his brother. He said D’Angelo is learning quickly about life as a professional athlete.

“It has not been the easiest past couple of weeks,” Antonio Russell said. “But it makes you tougher for when that time comes and you know the Lakers start succeeding. It’s all part of the plan.”

With the Lakers holding a strong opportunity at obtaining the first pick in the June NBA draft, there is a possibility Russell could be reunited with former high school teammate Ben Simmons, who is widely regarded as the top pick.

“He feels Ben is a tremendous player,” Antonio Russell said. “Anybody they get in the draft is going to be extremely good for the Lakers organization in the rebuilding period.”

 

 

Lakers Team Up With HP To Bring Technology To Burbank Boys & Girls Club

Photos By Ross A. Benson

The Los Angeles Lakers & Hewlett-Packard got together on Monday afternoon, to ‘Officially’ Cut the ribbon on the new technology room at the Burbank Boy’s & Girls Club. Lakers Steve Blake and Don Duff of Hewlett-Packard, got to meet the boy’s and girls who will benefit from the donation.  HP donated over $15,000 in technology equipment including HP Pavilion desktop PCs, LCD monitors, and HP LaserJet and Photosmart printers. The donation will provide club members access to updated equipment for its technology program, club Tech, which helps build club members’ knowledge and ability in computer skills necessary to succeed in school and the job market. “We are very thankful for companies like HP and our friends at the L.A. Lakers for choosing to support
our Boys & Girls club. we would not be able to help the youth in the Burbank and Greater East Valley areas without their generous donation,” stated Executive Director Shanna Warren.  Blake, who is in his eighth season in the NBA and first with the Lakers, interacted with club members and utilized the new features of the technology equipment donated by HP.