LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest wants to change his name to Metta World Peace.
Artest’s attorney filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday seeking the change. The 31-year-old NBA star was born Ronald William Artest Jr.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul Pierce says the Boston Celtics had no reason to discuss their heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the NBA finals last summer before they returned to Staples Center on Sunday.
With a spectacularly fluid performance on offense against the outclassed Lakers, Pierce and the Celtics showed some things just don’t need to be said out loud.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic says he’s engaged to marry Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova.
“We are engaged and are both really happy,” Vujacic said Thursday night. “It’s good and now we can focus on other things.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lakers coach Phil Jackson will return next season, putting off retirement for at least another year to chase his 12th NBA championship.
Jackson made the announcement Thursday. The two-time defending champions’ coach said last week he was leaning toward retirement after another long season, but he changed his mind after getting a week to rest at his offseason home in Montana.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The apologetic president and CEO of Staples Center owner AEG on Monday gave a $10,000 check to a cabbie whose taxi was burned by a mob when violence erupted near the arena after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship last week.
The Boston Celtics have tied up the NBA finals, and they owe it more to “Big Baby” than the Big Three.
Backup Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored half of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Celtics bench as Boston pulled away from the Los Angeles Lakers to win 96-89 on Thursday night and even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
So the Celtics want to play rough again? Kobe Bryant and the Lakers look ready this time around, and they barged into an early lead in the NBA finals.
Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and defending champion Los Angeles got tough in a 102-89 victory over Boston in the NBA finals opener Thursday night.
While the Los Angeles Lakers’ reserves haplessly gave away the lead early in the fourth quarter, the Utah Jazz celebrated every basket with increasing glee, spilling off their bench in anticipation of an upset.
Even the Hollywood crowd was tense, with many fans anxiously kneading or waving the giveaway white T-shirts they apparently were too cool to wear.
“It was tough,” Kobe Bryant said. “But when it got really tough for me, I just checked myself in.”
Andrew Bynum leaned over, his hands on his knees, his chest heaving from his first minutes of game action in nearly a month.
Other than being out of breath, Bynum displayed little rust in teaming with Pau Gasol to dominate the middle in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 87-79 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their playoff series opener Sunday.
Kobe Bryant won’t play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ last two regular season games against Sacramento and the Clippers.
Team spokesman John Black said Monday that Bryant would rest the broken bone in his index finger on his right shooting hand. He sat out games last week at Denver and Minnesota to rest his finger, along with a swollen right knee and a sprained ankle.
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