Connect with us

NBA

Los Angeles Lakers’ Marc Gasol frustrated with role since Andre Drummond’s arrival

Published

on

Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol admitted Friday night that he has been questioning his place on the team since Andre Drummond was added from the buyout market last weekend.

Drummond was named the starter almost immediately after he arrived, and Gasol was relegated to the bench on a team that already has Montrezl Harrell, one of the leading Sixth Man of the Year candidates, playing backup center.

Gasol, speaking after the Lakers’ 115-94 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday, said he he was unsure how often his number will be called with Drummond in the fold.

“I think there’s an ‘if’ — ‘if’ they need you. And it’s a big ‘if,'” Gasol said when asked about Lakers coach Frank Vogel repeatedly stating Gasol’s continued importance. “You’re not Plan A right now. You’re Plan C, D. … You have to accept it because that’s your job. And that’s what you sign up to do. It’s never easy to accept that.”

With Drummond out of the lineup against the Kings, recovering from a torn nail on his right big toe, Gasol, 36, was thrust back into the starting lineup and contributed five points, nine rebounds, six assists and a steal. His assist total was second-most on the team, behind only point guard Dennis Schroder‘s eight, and L.A. outscored Sacramento by 20 points in the 28 minutes Gasol was on the floor.

“I think people need to understand how good of a player Marc Gasol is and how valuable he is to what we’re doing,” Vogel said afterward. “And we’re going to play our most important players, so he’s going to help us win a championship this year. That’s the plan. That’s the vision. Obviously Andre coming along gives us the depth. But we’re going to need all three of those guys. We stated that from Day 1 and Marc is one of our most important players. He dominated the game tonight with five points, OK? And this is what Marc brings to the table.”

Gasol had previously declined speaking to reporters three times since L.A. signed Drummond and was clearly still harboring some frustration about the franchise’s decision Friday when breaking his silence on the move.

“Things can change quickly in the NBA just as they have changed for me,” Gasol said when asked if he wanted to stay with the Lakers or seek a buyout of his own. “But, I’m committed to this team. It’s a hard pill to swallow because I know I’m going to be out of the lineup at some point. It’s never easy on a player. As a basketball player, you want to play. You want to contribute, especially when you made that commitment for that reason. But, we’ll see.”

Gasol signed a two-year contract with the defending champion Lakers in the offseason to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Pau Gasol, and help L.A. hoist another Larry O’Brien Trophy. His intention was to not just be a part of a championship team, but to play and have his skillset elevate the entire group in its pursuit of the ultimate prize.

He came into Friday averaging career lows in points (4.8), rebounds (3.9), field goal percentage (40.3%) and minutes (19.5) and recently dealt with contracting COVID-19, which caused him to miss nine straight games.

As Vogel alluded to, Gasol’s value to the Lakers was more about the team’s overall performance than his individual numbers, with the team ranking No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency for the majority of the season with the former Defensive Player of the Year manning the middle.

“You ask if you’ve done something wrong when you try to do everything for the team,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious I don’t care much about my stats and the shots that I get or rebounds that I get. I try to box my guy out and make the next play, help everyone out. It’s not easy. But it’s life. You have to adapt. Like I said, either you take it as a challenge or you move on.”

Vogel maintained that Gasol will continue to have a role in L.A. and detailed how he and the organization will rally around him while Gasol adjusts to the lineup shuffle.

“The approach is full support,” Vogel said. “It’s difficult to see that your role is going to change: how can we support you? And make sure that they understand that they are a vital piece, like Marc is a vital piece to us winning the championship this year. And there’s no other way to look at it other than that.”

Source link

NBA

Gains sizable in NBA Finals ratings from last year, but fourth-lowest average since 1997

Published

on

NEW YORK — Television ratings for the NBA Finals and playoffs posted sizable increases over last year. But that was the only good news for the NBA as far as viewer numbers.

According to Nielsen, the NBA and ABC on Wednesday, the six-game series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 million viewers, a 32% increase over last year’s series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, which also went six games. However, the average makes it the fourth-lowest since 1997.

The Lakers-Heat series — which was played in October in the Orlando bubble after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the season back five months — averaged only 7.45 million.

San Antonio‘s 2007 four-game sweep of Cleveland (9.29 million) and the Spurs’ six-game victory over New Jersey in 2003 (9.83 million) are the other series to average fewer than 10 million since 1997.

The numbers were also down 34.5% compared to two years ago, when the TorontoGolden State series averaged 15.14 million.

Milwaukee’s 105-98 victory over Phoenix on Tuesday night attracted the most viewers in the series, averaging 12.52 million. The audience peaked between 11:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. EDT at 16.54 million. Only two games in the series averaged 10 million or more.

This year’s playoffs averaged 4.25 million, up 35% over last year but down 18% compared to 2019.

Source link

Continue Reading

NBA

Two shootings leave 3 wounded in Milwaukee during celebration of Bucks’ NBA championship

Published

on

MILWAUKEE — Two shootings in downtown Milwaukee early Wednesday as crowds celebrated the Milwaukee Bucks‘ first NBA championship in 50 years left three people wounded, police said.

The shootings both happened about 12:42 a.m. at two locations near Water Street, police said in a statement. TV station WISN had a reporter broadcasting from the scene when multiple shots were heard, prompting people to flee.

The shootings were across the Milwaukee River from Fiserv Forum, where the game was played, and the Deer District plaza, where a crowd of roughly 65,000 had gathered for an outdoor watch party. The area where the shootings took place is on a street heavily populated with bars and restaurants.

During Tuesday night’s game, a police officer was trampled by people trying to get into the Deer District watch party after the area had reached capacity, Milwaukee police Capt. Jesús Ortiz said in an email. The officer didn’t sustain any major injuries but reported being in general pain, Ortiz said.

Following one of the shootings, a 22-year-old man had non-life-threatening injuries, police said, and a suspect was in custody.

In the other shooting, which police said happened simultaneously, a 19-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man had non-life-threatening injuries. One person was in custody and other suspects were being sought, police said.

The two shootings, which were in the immediate area of the celebrations, likely were what was heard during the TV coverage, Ortiz said.

The celebrations came after Giannis Antetokounmpo capped one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points as Milwaukee beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 to win the series 4-2.

Fans who packed the streets surrounding the arena had cheered and danced all night as they watched the game on giant video screens, and the massive crowd erupted in jubilation as the game ended. A few fans climbed light poles in the plaza and others jumped off a bridge into the nearby river as fireworks exploded above the arena.

Joy Smith, 50, of Milwaukee, danced after the final buzzer. “Milwaukee is underrated, but we proved to the world we could do it,” she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Another fan, Sabrina Holland, 37, of Milwaukee, called it “epic.” She said: “Everyone who’s anyone is here.“

Before the game, and at the city’s request, Gov. Tony Evers mobilized 150 National Guard members to help in Milwaukee with traffic control and public safety.

Source link

Continue Reading

NBA

Sports world reacts to Milwaukee Bucks winning first NBA title since 1971

Published

on

The Milwaukee Bucks are the 2020-21 NBA champions and have snapped a 49-year title drought, the league’s fifth longest entering this season.

This ring proved to be hard-fought as Milwaukee is just the third team in Finals history to win four straight after trailing 2-0, joining the 2006 Miami Heat and 1977 Portland Trail Blazers. Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Bob Pettit as the only players in NBA history to score 50 points in a finals clincher.

As the franchise and fans celebrate their long-awaited championship, let’s relive some of the best social media moments from the Bucks’ title-clincher.

Antetokounmpo joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in Bucks history to be named Finals MVP. He and his teammates had several notable viewers excited to share their congratulations.




Source link

Continue Reading

Trending