Lakers Media Day Year 2

I arrived at the copper gates of the UCLA Health Training Facility for Lakers Media Day an hour early where I was met by a guard with a purple shirt and a clipboard, “Name please,” she asked me. I nervously uttered Lauren Jones. She signaled to the other guard obstructing the driving path, ‘she’s good to go.’ As I came around the bend to the parking, there was a line wrapped around the corner filled with media members waiting to enter the facility. News trucks from the local stations, ABC7, NBC4, ESPN, etc. occupied many of the parking spaces. As I walked up, I saw few familiar faces. In fact, I felt like the newbie. It was like watching a reunion in school after coming back from summer break, people have been promoted and the excitement level is high.

For most of the time I was in line, I just observed and quickly noticed one of my favorite writers, Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times, just so happened to get in line right behind me. He was greeted by several longtime Laker writers and I just took notes. After making my way inside the gym, it was an overwhelming amount of cameras, production crew members, lights, and of course the podium where LeBron James would be addressing media first. Fortunately, I was sitting beside fellow journalist Justin Tinsley of ESPN’s The Undefeated, who I was privileged to meet earlier in the summer at a sports and entertainment panel at Howard University where he spoke. I received a notification on my Twitter and it was a picture captured on The Ringer’s Twitter page from Lakers media day.

I Tweeted out the schedule for media day. I’m not quite sure how the algorithm works, but it was really the first time that my Twitter had gained so much attention. Speaking of attention,  as King James walked into the gym sporting his Lakers uniform for the first time, the media swarmed. He remained unfazed and without expression as he took his seat. The questions ensued. Unlike last year, I was empowered to make sure I asked a question. I watched the microphone play hopscotch and finally it landed on me.

Immediately following the conclusion of James’ media session, I had a few writers approach me and tell me that they were impressed with my question. I was humbled, but I know that as the new Lakers beat reporter for the L.A. Sentinel, asking a question is only a small fraction of the job I am undertaking.

As I was leaving the facility, something in me told me to take the “long way,” back to my car. Once I turned the corner towards the exit, none other than Magic Johnson walked into the hallway. His face lit up as he saw me, “What’s up girl?” The most comforting familiar face I could have asked to seen as my media day experience in year two concluded. I was able to finally tell him that I would be covering the Lakers this season. He looked at me and said, “I am so proud of you.” With that, Laker legend “Big Game” James Worthy tapped Magic on the shoulder and they had a short exchange.

In that moment, I felt as if all of my hard work was finally paying off. To be able to witness the exchange between two Laker greats as I cover a soon to be other Laker great in LeBron James is surreal. I am so thankful to the Bakewell family, the L.A. Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times for the opportunity to cover my childhood favorite team in the Los Angeles Lakers. Stay updated with my coverage on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

LeBron James’ Superhero Efforts Were Not Enough Against Dub City

The Golden State Warriors displayed a dominating performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first NBA Finals sweep since 2007. This is also the third championship in four years for the Warriors.

Cavaliers’ star Lebron James averaged a triple-double over the course of those four games (34 points, 14.75 rebounds and 10 assists), yet it was still not enough to overcome the Warriors’ team. Many would argue, he put on a MVP performance during the regular season that carried over to the Finals.

For the second year in a row, it was Warriors’ forward Kevin Durant who received Finals MVP honors. Durant averaged 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game in the Finals. After Durant’s teammate Steph Curry set a record for the most three-pointers made in a Finals game, Curry went 3 for 16 from the field in Game 3. That dismal performance shot down any hope Curry had for Finals MVP.

Meanwhile, Durant became only the sixth player in NBA History to receive the Finals MVP in back-to-back seasons. Durant is also the only other player, besides Michael Jordan, to have four scoring titles and multiple Finals MVPs. Durant is 2-0 in the NBA Finals since he joined the Warriors in 2016.

Curry and Klay Thompson both heavily contributed to the Warriors’ championship title. Curry averaged 27.5 points in the series, while Thompson averaged 16 points. With the exception of game three of the NBA Finals, Golden State defeated Cleveland by double digits in games one, two and four.

The Warriors have had an impressive record of 8-1 in the past two NBA Finals. James now falls to a record of 3-6 all-time in the NBA Finals. Golden State will look to make it a three-peat in the upcoming NBA season. It would be the first three-peat since the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2002.

Team LeBron James Wins 67th NBA All-Star Game Competitive Showdown

Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, played host to the 2018 All-Star Weekend and boasted the biggest celebrities including Jack Nicholson, Beyonce, Diddy,  DJ Khaled and Kevin Hart. The 67th NBA All-Star Game debuted its new format that featured team captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry at Staples Center on Sunday night (Feb. 18) in Los Angeles. The All-Star game concluded with a 148-145 victory for Team LeBron as the culminating event of an action-packed weekend.

“I think L.A. is a perfect place to host All-Star Weekend,” James told the L.A. Sentinel. “It’s built for stars. It’s built for entertainment. It’s built for cameras and bright lights, and it’s a great place for it.”

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