NBA PM: Pau: Lakers Have Plenty To Repeat
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
Follow @Yannis KoutroupisYannis Koutroupis
Pau Likes Lakers As Is: The Los Angeles Lakers would have to be undefeated or very close to it at the trade deadline in order to avoid being involved in any trade rumors. Currently in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 38-19, the Lakers have unsurprisingly been linked to having interest in trading forward Ron Artest with their eyes on Charlotte Bobcats forwards Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson along with Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony. However, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak called a deal "unlikely" recently and Lakers star forward Pau Gasol is glad that’s the case.
"I think we have what we need," Gasol told HOOPSWORLD. "I can’t wait to get back together with the team and get ready to work on the things the coaching staff wants us to work on and get it going. We have a tough back-to-back starting after the break, I look forward to that too."
The Lakers disappointing end to a seven game road trip is the main reason why some people think change is necessary for the two-time defending champions. The Lakers started that trip off 4-0, though, with wins over New Orleans, Boston and New York. According to Gasol, after that grueling slate of games fatigue just caught up with them.
"I don’t think we did," responded Gasol when asked if the Lakers started their All-Star break a week early. "I think we just ran out of gas. We were doing well, feeling well about ourselves, playing well. We had a really tough game in Orlando, didn’t get it going at all then it carried over and got really bad in Charlotte and Cleveland."
While Gasol was definitely frustrated with the Lakers recent three-game skid, he put those feelings on the backburner to enjoy All-Star weekend – something he didn’t get to do on his first trip.
"I was playing sick my first time," Gasol remembered. "I was so excited. I had little to no energy but I was excited to be a part of it. It was my first All-Star. I had to be there. I missed practice and everything but I had to play no matter what. I played 13-14 minutes, got 12 boards. I didn’t score one point, but I had a good time and I told myself I had to get another chance to enjoy it – get to go outside the room, see fans, do activities and enjoy the whole weekend fully.
"I like being around all the guys. We recognize that it’s the best in our conferences and in the league. Being a part of it is a huge honor. I like being amongst the best."
If Gasol can help the Lakers complete another three-peat then he won’t have to worry about making the All-Star game every year to be mentioned amongst the best because he’ll have cemented himself as such forever.
George Karl’s Future: Unfortunately All-Star Weekend did not lead to an end of the ongoing saga involving Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony. He said during the game that he is going to be playing for the Nuggets on Tuesday when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies, but that very well could be his last game.
It’s now clear that Anthony is going to be a member of either the New Jersey Nets or New York Knicks by the end of Thursdays’ trade deadline. There’s a very slight possibility that the Nuggets hold onto him, but that’s looking extremely unlikely at this point.
League offices are closed today due to President’s Day, but there are some reports that the Nuggets could make a decision today as to whose package they’re going to accept. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that George Karl is leaning towards accepting the Knicks’ offer to stay competitive, while ownership prefers to rebuild with New Jersey’s offer.
Karl’s contract expires at the end of this season and what the Nuggets look like after Thursday could determine whether or not he will be their coach next year.
Karl has made it clear that he wants to stay in Denver, but there are going to be plenty of suitors this summer if he decides to see what else is out there. If the Nuggets are in full-fledge rebuilding mode at that time he could be tempted to leave for a situation where he would be closer to contending.
Anthony’s situation has effected more than a dozen other players in the league and Karl is just another person involved who could see his future change depending on what happens. The only certainty for all parties involved at this point is that this should all be over by Thursday – hopefully.
2011 All-Star Game A Hit: The 2011 NBA All-Star Game on TNT Delivers Most Watched and Highest Rated All-Star Game Since 2003 and Earns Strong Growth Across All Demos 2011 NBA All-Star Game and All-Star Saturday Night Combine to Average More Than 17 Million Viewers.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game on TNT delivered 9.1 million total viewers, 6 million households and a 5.2 U.S. HH rating, along with strong growth across all key demos, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. This year’s star-studded contest in Los Angeles ranks as the most watched and highest rated game since 2003, which featured Michael Jordan’s final NBA All-Star appearance of his career. In addition, the 2011 NBA All-Star Game and All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, which was the most watched in the event’s 26-year history, combined to average more than 17 million total viewers.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game also posted strong growth over last year, an increase of +33% in total viewers (9,093,000 vs. 6,846,000), +36% in households (5,975,000 vs. 4,399,000) and +37% in U.S. HH rating (5.2 vs. 3.8 U.S. HH rating).
The network has also had tremendous growth in key adult and male demos compared to last year.
Additional highlights during 2011 NBA All-Star Game included:
•The second most-watched NBA game on television during the 2010-11 season to date.
•The most-watched NBA telecast on cable during the 2010-11 season
•The top five markets tuning into the game include San Antonio with a 13.5 rating (+48% over last year), host city Los Angeles earned a 11.6 rating (+123%), Memphis earned a 10.6 rating (+39%), Chicago earned a 9.9 rating (+48%) and Miami earned a 9.4 rating (+52%). In addition, Boston earned a 7.2 rating (+100%) and New York earned a 6.4 rating (+88%).
TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2011 NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm was the most watched All-Star Saturday Night in the event’s 26 year history. The event delivered 8.1 million total viewers, 5.1 million households and a 4.4 U.S. HH rating, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. The 2011 event saw increases of +23% in total viewers (6,554,000), +14% in households (4,466,000) and +13% in ratings (3.9 U.S. HH) over the previous record set in 2009. In addition, NBA All-Star Saturday Night out-delivered the 2010 telecast by +49% in total viewers (8,090,000 vs. 5,441,000), +43% in households (5,100,000 vs. 3,563,000) and +42% U.S. HH rating (4.4 vs. 3.9).
Heading into the 2011 NBA All-Star break, the 2010-11 NBA season on TNT is the most watched season in Turner’s 27 years of airing NBA coverage. Through 38 games, the NBA on TNT is averaging a 1.5 U.S. rating (+26%, 1.2 U.S. rating), 2,377,000 total viewers (+30%, 1,832,000 total viewers) and 1,770,000 households (+27%, 1,390,000 households) over last year’s corresponding coverage. In addition, this season is +26% on total viewers compared to Turner’s next best regular season audience from the 1995-96 season (total viewer average 2,377,000 vs. 1,885,000).
Turner Sports and the NBA jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports’ television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf.
The company’s digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
Twitter: The 2010-2011 season is here and HOOPSWORLD is going to have a much larger presence on twitter. If you aren’t following all of our experts you’re missing out on some of the most-up-to-date information in both the NBA and NCAA along with breaking news and great insight. HOOPSWORLD’s twitter team consists of Yannis Koutroupis, Steve Kyler, Bill Ingram, Alex Kennedy, Eric Pincus, Lang Greene, Jason Fleming, Tommy Beer, Luke Byrnes, Alex Raskin, Stephen Litel, and Joel Brigham.