Lakers coach Luke Walton downplays report of tense meeting with Magic Johnson

first_imgWalton characterized his meetings with the front office and ownership as part of his regular routine. He acknowledged explaining his decisions to Johnson and others in management, but beyond that, he declined to divulge what is said behind closed doors.“I will tell you this, that Magic, myself, Jeanie, we are in constant communication, so this is no new, like all of the sudden there is some emergency meeting,” he said. “This is something we do all the time. What we discuss in our meetings is between us. … We have been saying since the beginning, we’re going to be patient. We know where we’re going, we know how to get there and it takes time and it takes hard work.”Walton also sidestepped questions about whether Johnson issues directives about lineups or playing time: “Magic and I talk a lot about basketball and our team and his opinions and my opinions.”The most powerful voice in the locker room, James, has undergone slow starts before with new teams: He began his Miami tenure in 2010 with fellow superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh just 8-7, with then third-year coach Erik Spoelstra undergoing withering criticism. In his return to Cleveland in 2014, James and the Cavaliers started 5-7, getting him and first-year coach David Blatt out on rocky terms. Both teams eventually reached the NBA Finals.James has expressed as much patience for Walton’s situation as any player and seemed to sympathize with his lineup dilemma earlier in the week.“Obviously we had the unexpected one when we had the suspensions, so we had a lineup change there,” he said Wednesday. “So Luke is trying to figure out what works best for our team. We’ll get to a point where we know how comfortable we need to be with different lineups.”Since the alleged meeting between Walton and Johnson, the Lakers have won their only game, a one-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks. But the team’s next three games are against teams that made last season’s playoffs: at the Portland Trail Blazers, at home against the Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota Timberwolves. When that stretch is over, the Lakers travel to play the surprising Sacramento Kings, who started the season 6-3.Whether Walton is truly on the hot seat or not, more eyes are now on him and the Lakers as they wrestle through their growing pains. Walton predicted this kind of buzz around his team weeks ago, saying there would be people who would “try to split us apart.”On Friday, Walton said his main priority is leading the team to improve and that he wasn’t angry about the report. But it did seem that it added frustration to what’s already been a difficult start for the Lakers – and being able to see it coming didn’t make it any easier.“It’s going to be about me. It’s going to be about players. It’s going to be about the front office,” he said. “It’s going to be about everything. That’s just the way that it is.”BEASLEY EXPECTED BACK THIS WEEKENDWith the injury report now clear and suspensions over, the only recent issue keeping the Lakers from being at full strength has been the absence of Michael Beasley. The team has characterized his absence as being for family health reasons.He’s expected to rejoin the team in Portland after nearly a week attending to the personal matter, but Walton said it’s not an absolute. Beasley has played limited minutes in just three appearances.“He’s dealing with some family stuff, so he knows that we are supporting him in whatever he needs the amount of time,” Walton said. “But he should be back meeting us in Portland.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — At the end of Friday’s Lakers practice, Luke Walton was seated on the far wall of the gym, underneath the franchise’s gleaming row of trophies, talking to General Manager Rob Pelinka as he often does.As he strode over to meet a pool of reporters, he stopped to chat with Kyle Kuzma, pantomiming some screening stances as they talked. Then he reached in the team refrigerator as he always does, seemingly bringing normalcy and routine to a decidedly abnormal proceeding.An ESPN report that dropped Friday morning suggested team president Magic Johnson had dressed down Walton on Tuesday, upset after the Lakers’ 2-5 start and seeking answers after an 0-2 road trip. From a position that suddenly seemed more precarious than the season’s start, Walton played down the report to the media, saying his relationship with management is “great” and everything so far has been business as usual.“I feel like I’m coming down here to do my job and coach,” he said. “And I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere, no.”center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe report reflects the tightrope Walton is walking – one torn between the Lakers’ early season mantra of being patient, and their ultimate goal of rising again to the top tier of the NBA.Walton’s performance has come under some scrutiny following a 3-5 start to the season, all of the Lakers’ losses coming by single digits. Since signing star free agent LeBron James in July, the Lakers have raised their expectations to return to the playoffs after a five-year absence from the postseason, and the early struggles seem to have raised concern in the organization about reaching that goal.There have been plenty of mitigating factors, from the contender-heavy schedule to start the season, as well as suspensions for Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo that threw a wrench into early attempts to build solid rotations and chemistry. The report leveled that some veterans have been frustrated with the variety of lineups Walton has experimented with (93 lineups over the course of eight games), but Walton said circumstances have dictated those decisions as much as anything.“We would like to get a couple of lineups that are comfortable and know they are going in together,” he said. “That hasn’t been our reality so far this season. Shorter training camp. Less preseason games. New group of guys. We don’t have that knowledge yet of what the groups are really doing well together and who plays well.”Much has changed in the Lakers’ power structure since Walton was hired in 2016 to preside over a rebuild. Johnson and Pelinka were installed midway through his first season, and the arrival of James has intensified the pressure to win for a coach who has a 64-108 career record. One thing that hasn’t changed: Team owner Jeanie Buss has been a staunch supporter of Walton since his hire.last_img read more

Man Utd can still qualify for Champions League, says Solskjaer

first_imgLike Arsenal and United, Chelsea have also endured some disappointing recent results, missing their own chance to pull clear when they drew at home with Burnley on Monday.United’s poor recent form has been a particular disappointment given the impressive sequence of results when Solskjaer first arrived as caretaker boss following Jose Mourinho’s exit in December.They began brightly against City at Old Trafford but could not maintain the intensity required, though they avoided a repeat of the insipid display duing the weekend’s 4-0 loss at Everton.Striker Marcus Rashford urged fans to keep the faith.“Tough period for us at the moment and as a United fan myself I understand how you’re feeling,” he wrote on Twitter.“We’ve shown how we can play, we need to get back to doing what we know we can do!”Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Ole Gunnar SolskjaerManchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United can still qualify for the Champions League despite a collapse in form extended by their derby defeat against Manchester City.United have now lost seven of their past nine games in all competitions, leaving them three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League with three matches to go.But they have been helped by the stumbles of others, with Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Wolves on Wednesday keeping the door open.Chelsea visit Old Trafford on Sunday and Solskjaer has urged his side to keep fighting for Champions League football despite the chastening 2-0 defeat at the hands of City on Wednesday.“We need more quality on Sunday and if we win that game, we have two games to go,” Solskjaer told“Of course we want to get into the top four. I haven’t been planning on playing on Thursday nights (in the Europa League) yet. We just have to make sure we give ourselves a chance on Sunday.“We’re three games away from the end of the season, we’re three points behind the top four and no one would have given us a chance a few months ago.“It’s maybe taken its toll on the players. It’s my job now to see who wants to sacrifice enough to be here.”last_img read more

Jen And Bill’s Bombshell Interview With KT McFarland: “Biden And Obama Knew Exactly What They Were Doing”

first_img Biden escape his own hand written notes that show what him and Obama were really trying to do?Will some big names come out in the next month?We spoke to General Flynn’s top advisor during their time in the Trump administration, KT McFarland, and she dropped some huge news on us.last_img

Martin County Allows Facial Covering Order for General Public to Expire

first_imgThe mask ordinance that had required all Martin County residents to wear face coverings where social distancing is not possible has expired.County officials unanimously passed the order, which was valid for 30 days and was not renewed, on July 7.As of Aug. 7, Martin County has reported 3,802 coronavirus cases and 92 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health. However, facial coverings are still required for employees working inside grocery stores, restaurants, retail stores and gyms within the county.That order will not expire unless the state of emergency ends or Martin County officials decide that it is no longer needed.last_img

Solid showing by Neptunes at Kootenay Regional Swim Meet

first_imgThe goal — qualify for Provincials — was set in May, prior to the start of the season.This past weekend at the Nelson and District Aquatic Centre a handful of Neptune swimmers achieved their season’s prize by capturing qualifying spots at the BC Summer Swim Association Championships later this month in Kamloops.“It was a really awesome weekend for the Neptunes,” said Nelson skipper Sarah Broen, who along with Matthew Holitzki form the coaching staff.“Not only did our swimmers swim best times, but many of them achieved their regional goals that we set in May.” “These swimmers also displayed some amazing team spirit by cheering for all the swimmers, of all ages,” Broen added.Castlegar Aquanauts captured the overall team prize at the Kootenay Summer Swim Association Regionals, edging out Kimberley for the Regional Title.Grand Forks Piranhas finished third followed by the host Neptunes.Trail Stingrays finished fifth followed by Creston in sixth and Colville, Wash., in seventh.For the Neptunes, the weekend qualified more than a dozen swimmers.Ready for compete at the provincial level are Keira Badry, Kallie Badry, Lachlan Bibby-Fox, Madeline Holitzki, assistant coach Matthew Holitzki, Olivia Cowan, Enna Cowan, Imogen Cowan, Sage Cowan, Raine Ingram, Cynthia Pfeiffer, Ella Chouinard and head coach Sarah Broen.The BC Summer Swim Association Championships August 17-20 in Kamloops.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, December 20, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Scattered showers move over the state today and tomorrow. Moisture is not all that impressive today, bringing a few hundredths to a few tenths. However, overnight tonight into tomorrow, we see a second, stronger wave taking direct aim at us. This eastern surge will be worth additional moderate into tomorrow mid to late morning before it tapers off. All action likely is done by tomorrow evening. The combined rain totals from today and tomorrow will run from .25″-1″, with the heaviest rains in central and eastern parts of Ohio. Cold air will follow the system in tomorrow, but we think it really waits to arrive until the moisture is moving off to the east, so we are keeping the majority of our forecasted precipitation in the form of rain, but will grant that we cant completely rule out a few wet snowflakes at the end of the event. The map at right shows precipitation potential through Saturday morning.Much colder air in for the weekend, and we should be at least partly sunny for Saturday. On Sunday we stay mostly dry, but likely see clouds increase as we move through the afternoon. We can’t rule out a bit of light snow and flurry action overnight Sunday night into very early Monday, but coverage on that minor snow is minimal…perhaps only 20%-30% of the state, and mostly from US 30 northward. There can be a bit of lake interaction that triggers a few more snowflakes, but nothing over the top. Another dry day is on the way for Christmas Eve on Monday.Christmas day and the days following continue to present a big challenge. Models are in significant disagreement. One says we could end up with a bit snow event, perhaps 4-8 inches of snow from I-70 northward; another says we get all rain – up to an inch, but it does not start until a day later on the 26th. A third model says there is absolutely no threat of precipitation until we get to Friday. So…which interpretation is right? At this point, who knows. We are more comfortable with inserting some precipitation into the forecast this morning over that 3-day period but will not put our any thoughts on type or start time yet. This system is not call-able yet. Just be prepared for some moisture, and it likely ends up in the .25”-1” range liquid equivalent. We will not see moisture all three days, but at least a day’s worth of precipitation somewhere in there.We end up dry later next Friday through the weekend as temps remain near normal. The extended 11-16 day forecast window looks a little less active this morning, but still can bring a chance of light snow for Monday the 31st into New Year’s Day (minor accumulation) and then again for the evening of the 3rd into the 4th (a fresh coating in spots). Temps start off 2019 normal to below normal statewide.last_img read more

Video: Dez Bryant Says Cowboys Aren’t Hazing Ezekiel Elliott, They “Need His Mind Right”

first_imgDez Bryant seen on TMZ sports.Despite 2016 being running back Ezekiel Elliott’s first season in the NFL, don’t expect the Cowboys rookie to be picking up any massive dinner checks this offseason. With the playoffs in mind, they want the former Ohio State star’s head to be clear of distractions. On Tuesday, TMZ Sports posted this great video to YouTube of Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant saying that the Cowboys don’t playfully haze rookies anymore and that Elliott will escape the tradition altogether because they “need his mind right.”With so many weapons on the field it’s easy to see why. The addition of Elliott behind one of the best offensive lines in the country provides endless possibilities in Dallas. Bringing balance to the potent offense could really open things up for Tony Romo.last_img

StoltNielsen Sees Drop in Net Profit

first_imgzoom Oslo-listed shipowner Stolt-Nielsen reported a net profit of USD 22.2 million in the third quarter of 2016, down from USD 37.8 million seen in the second quarter of the year.Revenue for the period slightly decreased to USD 474.1 million, from a revenue of USD 478.9 million reached in the previous quarter.The company said that the net profit for the first nine months stood at USD 90.3 million, compared with a net profit of USD 111.3 million recorded in the same period a year earlier, while revenue for the respective periods was at USD 1.41 billion and USD 1.48 billion.“Stolt-Nielsen’s third-quarter results were mixed. Stolt Tankers’ results were held down by weak summer demand, combined with the impact of Chinese production cutbacks and a weaker clean petroleum products (CPP) market, which pushed swing tonnage into the chemical tanker markets. As expected, the result was a reduction in volume with a corresponding softness in spot freight rates,” Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said.Stolt Tankers reported a drop in operating profit to USD 31.4 million, compared with USD 45.3 million, reflecting lower deep-sea rates and reduced COA volume, and a loss on bunker hedges of USD 0.5 million, compared with a gain of USD 6.5 million in the prior quarter.Stolthaven Terminals’ operating profit was at USD 14.8 million, up from USD 13.8 million, mainly due to improved operating performance at its wholly-owned terminals. As marginally lower trading results were offset by higher income from joint ventures Stolt Tank Containers’ operating profit was unchanged at USD 10.7 million, according to the company.“It is difficult to forecast what the year ahead may bring. Volume growth has not kept pace with supply-side growth, a situation made more acute by the recent influx of CPP swing tonnage. On the demand side, the weak return volumes from China and the Far East are likely to continue,” Stolt-Nielsen said, adding that they believe the decline in rates and the margin squeeze “will soon bottom out.”last_img read more