A look inside the Raptors-Magic first-round playoff series

A look inside the Raptors-Magic first-round playoff series

A look inside the Raptors-Magic first-round playoff series

"I want to play on a team that fights for the playoffs, at least", said Parker, who just completed his 18th National Basketball Association season and should be a lock to end up in the Hall of Fame.

The Lakers were 20-14 and in fourth place in the Western Conference after beating the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, when James suffered a groin injury that cost him the next 17 games.

If it can pull off even one of those moves, the Lakers will be much better positioned to contend next season.

While Johnson may have personally known that he was not going to continue with the team next year, many important figures with the franchise, including owner Jeanie Buss and star player LeBron James, were left in the dark.

Bower, 57, was general manager of the then-New Orleans Hornets from October 2005 to July 2010, and he also served as the team's head coach for most of the 2009-10 season after the firing of Byron Scott. They were hungry for wins, and they will finally get a chance on the national level.

Tony Parker says it's "50-50" whether he's back with the Charlotte Hornets next season, and his decision will come down to whether the team goes into rebuild mode. Los Angeles was decimated again this season by injuries to almost every key player, including the longest injury absence of James' 16-year career.

As Terrence Ross walked off the Scotiabank Arena court after scoring 28 points on Toronto this past regular season, the former Raptor said to a teammate, "That was one of my favourite wins of my career".

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The Magic can be the sixth, seventh or eighth seed. Not quite the outcome the Lakers expected when the season began. The Los Angeles Lakers would like for the season to end as soon as possible. Green went to the playoffs in each of those seasons and made two appearances in the NBA Finals.

Sources told USA Today Sports that James had no idea Johnson was leaving the team while ESPN reported that the NBA All-Star was "completely caught off guard" by the announcement. Additionally, several players have one-year contracts that will expire.

James credited Johnson with closing the deal that sent him to the Lakers from the Cleveland Cavaliers. They wanted the Playoff experience he provides and the savvy-veteran mentality he brings game in and game out.

The Los Angeles Clippers have a far different outlook. Also, the Clippers would like to dispel the notion that a superstar (s) is required for a team to win a championship. It was because they lacked the crucial pieces for a deep run.

Buss' ex-fiancee, longtime Lakers coach Phil Jackson, also is likely a phone call away - but even putting aside Jackson's cataclysmic tenure as an executive in NY, that might be too much organizational drama for even the Lakers to withstand.

"When you gotta make trades, you're not happy", he told reporters during the media session at the Staples Center. "Like, that's literally who I am as a player and as a person". Clippers playoff basketball that is.

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