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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Reeling Lakers return to practice for 1st time in Magic era

Magic Johnson has spoken to the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since taking over as president of basketball operations. The Hall of Famer’s words were brief, with some of the young players meeting the former Lakers great for the first time. Coach Luke Walton says Johnson let the players know they have an open door to talk to him.

Magic Johnson’s return means many things for the Los Angeles Lakers

If there was any doubt that big changes were coming to the Los Angeles Lakers, they went away Thursday morning, when the team stunned the basketball world with the announcement of the return of franchise icon Magic Johnson as an adviser “in all areas of basketball and business” to team owner Jeanie Buss.

Huckleberries: You can breathe now at Lakers Inn, but Patrick Jacobs wouldn’t like it

Patrick Jacobs, the late, local restaurant reviewer, appreciated the gritty Lakers Inn on Coeur d’Alene’s Second Street because it was a throwback at a time when downtown bars were focusing on upscale customers. The longtime establishment was unpretentious and offered a strong drink for the money. Patrick didn’t even mind the prevailing cigarette smoke. What would he think now that Lakers has gone smoke-free?

Los Angeles Lakers fire Byron Scott

Byron Scott will not be back to coach the Los Angeles Lakers after winning only 38 games over the worst two seasons in the franchise’s 68-year history.

Westbrook’s triple double lifts Thunder

Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds to help the Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 111-107 on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

Former Husky Robert Upshaw signs 2-year deal with L.A. Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Robert Upshaw to a multiyear contract, the Lakers announced Monday. The 7-foot Upshaw led the nation with 4.5 blocked shots per game until his dismissal from the University of Washington’s team last season. He went undrafted after leaving school two years early.

Lakers plan to sign Williams, Bass

The Los Angeles Lakers say they plan to sign guard Lou Williams, last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, and forward Brandon Bass. Williams averaged a career-high 15.5 points and helped Toronto win a franchise-record 49 games in 2014-15, his lone season there. The Lakers have upgraded their guard rotation by adding Williams after drafting Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick. Bass averaged 10.6 points while playing all 82 games for Boston. The Lakers are also said to be close to completing a trade with the Indiana Pacers in which Los Angeles would receive veteran center Roy Hibbert. – AP

Former MVP Steve Nash announces retirement after 19 seasons

Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash announced his retirement after a 19-year NBA career that included two MVP awards. The 41-year-old Canadian made the announcement Saturday in a letter on The Players’ Tribune, a website where he is a senior producer. Nash played in just 65 games over the last three seasons with the Lakers because of injuries. A persistent back problem prevented him from playing at all this season. His announcement was a long-expected formality. Nash won MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 during a dominant stretch as the catalyst for Phoenix’s up-tempo offense. The eight-time All-Star is third in NBA history with 10,335 assists, trailing only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Nash also is the best free-throw shooter in NBA history at 90.4 percent. – AP

Rotator cuff surgery likely will end season for Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant will have surgery Wednesday on his torn right rotator cuff, likely ending his 19th season with the Los Angeles Lakers. The team announced Bryant’s surgery Monday. He injured his shoulder last week in New Orleans. The Lakers will announce a timetable for Bryant’s recovery after surgery, but coach Byron Scott anticipates losing the third-leading scorer in NBA history for the rest of the year. “Kobe is probably not going to play” again this season, Scott said. “We all know how tough he is,” Scott added after Monday’s practice. “He’s a trooper, so we pray for him that his return will be sooner rather than later.” Bryant’s torn rotator cuff is likely his third straight season-ending injury. He missed the 2013 playoffs with a torn Achilles tendon, and he played just six games last season before breaking a bone near his left knee. – AP

Lin hurt by benching

Jeremy Lin acknowledges he was surprised and disappointed by his first complete benching in nearly three years. The point guard who once sparked Linsanity from New York to China also isn’t ready to quit trying to make a difference for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Lin didn’t play in the Lakers’ 99-85 loss at San Antonio on Friday, missing a game for the first time in his first season. He returned to coach Byron Scott’s rotation in Sunday’s game against Houston, playing as a reserve in the first quarter. “I’m going to show up and do my best to play and work hard and stuff, but it definitely hurts,” Lin said before Sunday’s game. – AP

Lakers: Kobe Bryant has torn rotator cuff, hurt on dunk

Kobe Bryant tore his right rotator cuff in the Los Angeles Lakers’ latest defeat, the club announced Thursday. Bryant injured his right shoulder in the second half of the Lakers’ loss at New Orleans on Wednesday during a two-handed dunk. After the game, Bryant said it felt as if his shoulder “came out of joint a little bit” on the dunk. “I felt fine when I went up, and didn’t feel too good when I came down,” he said. An MRI exam Thursday in San Antonio – where the Lakers play today – revealed the tear, and Bryant headed home to Los Angeles. The Lakers are expected to release an update on Bryant’s condition today. Lakers coach Byron Scott and the team declined to speculate on the severity of Bryant’s injury, but many rotator cuff injuries require surgery and several months of rehabilitation. – AP