Blog

How OSU's Moussa Cisse rediscovered his motivation after the death of his mother

The OSU Center Moussa Cisse came to the United States from West Africa when he was 14, leaving his mother and five sisters with dreams of a better education. Then he found basketball and started getting bigger and bigger. He dreamed of helping his mother by reaching the NBA. She died in December. Now that's his goal (Author: Gardener)

OSUSTILLWATER - Moussa Cisse believed his basketball career was over after hearing the news of Mike Boynton and his family. Boynton, sitting at his desk with Cisse's family over the speakerphone, offered a shoulder to cry on and room to vent. Cisse had seen her in person once in the last five years. Cisse was devastated. "I really played for them," Cisse said. A few hours later, Cisse got dressed and sat on the cowboys' bench. He played 3 minutes and 2 seconds of the overtime win against Cleveland State on December 13. "You can't stop me, right?": How Oklahoma State's Moussa Cisse improved on offense in basketball didn't matter. It only helped to keep him around people because he felt alone. Cisse wanted to make his home in Conakry, Guinea, where his six siblings were waiting for him. He still had something to play for - his mother's legacy. "I'm not going to come this far just to drop everything," Cisse said. "If I do that, she will never be proud of me. She just wanted me to keep playing. If I don't play basketball I don't get a scholarship and she wanted me to graduate. I still have to make her proud by doing what she asked me to do." When the Cowboys wrap up their street plan Wednesday night in Iowa State, OSU's 7-foot center will take to the field with a newfound purpose, the led to a rapid rise in the second half of the season. He honors his mother's dream by pursuing his own. She wanted Cisse to go to school and be happy. Basketball does both. It has led him to the Cowboys where he has become a bright spot in a dark season. "It shows the courage to keep moving forward and stay positive at this age," said Cisse's brother Zay Bah. But he has the courage to wake up every day and keep doing it to make sure she's proud of him." Moussa Cisse would often rush to his door after waking up, eager but nervous to stand next to the marked frame. His new life in America was already challenging. Cisse had left home a few months earlier in 2015 and moved away from his mother with dreams of improving his life. He wanted to go home. And suddenly growing to 6 feet, 9 inches at such a young age didn't help. "I was a bit scared at first," said Cisse. "I didn't want to be that big." He didn't want to be viewed differently by others. However, being different is not a bad thing. Cisse was unique. He grew up with football and loved it. But as he grew, it became apparent that basketball could be a better path. His cousin Mohamed Hady was the first to notice and called Zay Bah. On a summer's day in 2015, the three sat down and planned a way forward. OSU at Iowa State Men's Basketball: How to Watch, Lineups, What You Should Know, Live Updates Bah, now 36, played basketball at Birmingham Southern College before playing professionally overseas for a dozen years. Cisse planned to train with both for a year before moving around the world for a high school and college education — and playing a sport he still hadn't fully grasped. Cisse's mother, Saran Kante, agreed to the plan as long as her youngest of seven children received his education. The temporary rims often had to be adjusted after a game. But the duo still taught Cisse the basics. When he moved to New York City as an eighth grader and lived with Bah's former teammate BJ McFarlin, Cisse had never played an organized basketball game. He struggled with English even though he could speak three other languages. His first basketball game was a weird adventure. Cisse didn't understand the jump ball. He had never seen an inbound game. In AAU, he began to impress as his size even forced him to play a year over his age. His English improved with basketball. Cisse enrolled for his freshman year at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, New Jersey, playing with future first-round draft pick Precious Achiuwa. Tramel's ScissorTales: Why Saturday's historic day of excitement is good for Big 12 basketball Tramel's ScissorTales: Why Saturday's historic day of excitement is good for Big 12 basketball Cisse then transferred to Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village, New York. As a sophomore, Cisse and future Illinois star Kofi Cockburn led the team to the 2019 state championship game. Cisse also became a star on the Nike EYBL circuit, where he averaged a double-double and finished the league with Led 4.5 blocks per game. "I was shocked to be honest," Bah said. "I didn't know he was going to be like this, a kid who was 6-7, 6-8 (when he arrived in the States) and didn't know a lot of basketball under his belt." Cisse only got better as he prepared for his junior season went to Memphis. McFarlin moved to California and there was no school nearby that could accommodate Cisse with his international status. So Bah moved with his brother to live with William Anderson, a college friend and Division II LeMoyne-Owen coach. Cisse enrolled at the Lausanne Collegiate School, which future NBA players Marc Gasol and Cameron Payne attended. Cisse became a dominant player and five-star recruit. While leading Lausanne to a state title, he hit 17 triple-doubles early in the season, including a remarkable performance of 31 points, 22 rebounds and 21 blocks. Cisse had arrived - thanks to his size. "I found out how important it is to be tall," Cisse said. Sophomore year, junior year, I was like, 'Damn, I'm really blessed' because it's really helped me be a good athlete because I'm tall." Mike Boynton had never really met Moussa Cisse before last summer. Last season in Memphis he was the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Boynton believed that Cisse would thrive with the Cowboys. And Cisse needed a fresh start after retiring from the NBA draft. Boynton gave Cisse his space as he processed the news of his mother's death. Boynton knew Cisse could step away from basketball for a short time or forever. Either way, Boynton had to help. Boynton made sure Cisse returned home for the funeral, even though he feared he might not be able to return soon due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions. That was secondary because Cisse was with his five sisters, brother and other family members. "We're trying to protect their minds and their hearts because they're young," Boynton said. That didn't make things any easier. Getting Cisse back on course was difficult. "Not no follower": How Bryce Williams grew up with the OSU men's basketball program over two years "Not no follower": How Bryce Williams grew up with the OSU men's basketball program over two years Boynton checked Cisse daily. But when the time came and Cisse returned, Boynton was ready to help even more. "You have to get him to stop thinking it was just because of his mother," Boyton said. Cisse began to find peace on and off the pitch. He's happy again. Both Cisse and Zay Bah believe it's possible because of Boynton. "I feel like showing love to someone is priceless," Bah said. “He did a lot more than he should as a coach. 'We just weren't ourselves': How a bad start to the day got worse for OSU in Bedlam overtime loss Moussa Cisse recalls last time he saw his mother The journey home two years ago should have taken much longer. On the second day of a two-week trip, President Donald Trump announced that America's borders would be closed because of the coronavirus. Cisse, then still in high school, had to return. So Cisse and Saran Kante went out to eat. They returned home and watched a movie. "I just remember that we used to talk to each other," Cisse said. I didn't even know it would be the last time I saw her.” No other person will have such a big impact on Cisse. Cisse said his mother was a "beautiful person". She has always helped others. "I'm a role model for her," Cisse said. "All my life I saw her, she always worked hard and cared about other people. It was really crazy because that's how I try to be." Cisse was aware of his mother's illness in December. Even through the pain, that released something in Cisse. "Now I feel like I'm alone," Cisse said. I have to think differently. I have to do everything differently than other people because they have their parents. I have no parents. The only parents I have are my sisters and my brothers. "I feel like I'm the hope of the family. I have to do everything differently. I feel like that helped me a lot to focus on the pitch, focus off the pitch and do everything differently than what I was doing. Cisse concentrated even more in the second half of the season. And with the cowboys he became a star. At the beginning of the season he struggled offensively. In his last 10 games, he's averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 more rebounds than his first 10. He's become a high-flying force on both ends. Because of this, it's unclear if he will return to OSU next season, though Cisse is open to a second season in orange and black. "You can't break bridges," Cisse said. "I know I have a lot to learn. I won't rush anything.” Cisse is ahead for his age. That will be an issue when Cisse and Bah meet Boynton about the future next week. There Boynton will provide guidance and accept what happens next. "In my humble opinion -- and I'm not a GM or a scout -- I think he has some things that he needs to keep working on, whether he's here or he decides to drop out of school," Boynton said. “Ultimately it is his decision and I will still support him. He'll arrive exactly when he's supposed to.” Once he does, Cisse will continue to honor his mother. He wants to open a school at home, which his mother has always dreamed of. He wants to prove that he can be successful. "All she wanted was for me to make it," Cisse said. "She didn't want me to do it for the money. She wanted me to do it because she saw that I'm happy every time I play basketball. She thought I could have helped a lot of people with that.”

Read

The Lakers' second-half rally falls short against the Mavericks

LeBron James helps the Lakers erase a 21-point deficit with a strong third quarter, but Luka Doncic and Dallas dominate late, giving them their 10th loss in 13 games. (Author: Gardener)

second-halfLOS ANGELES — After a lifeless performance Sunday night, the Lakers needed some sort of sign to show they're still kicking. On Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, they ran to the bottom, defended, and came back from a big hole. A crowd that had booed them two nights earlier returned to their side as they led by six points against a credible opponent midway through the fourth quarter. But that brief surge was surpassed by the cold, methodical approach of Luka Doncic, who moved the Lakers defense like chess pieces and whose stepback jump shot just didn't have a counter. "I don't know if you can do a better job for Luka than we can tonight," coach Frank Vogel said after the Lakers held the 23-year-old Slovenia star in 9-for-21 shooting but couldn't hold him at the end up. But they still need a win after falling to the Mavericks, 109-104, their third straight loss since the All-Star Break. The ninth-ranked Lakers are just two games away from completely losing their position for a play-in tournament spot and have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Doncic (25 points) and Jalen Brunson (22 points) helped the Mavericks pull past the Lakers despite a third quarter in which the Lakers beat them 31-14, making it possible for the hosts to end their losing streak could. But they ended up being snuffed out by a team that - last seen them - had beaten them with a game winner in overtime. The Mavericks held them to just four points this time in the final 7:35 of the fourth quarter, with former Lakers assistant Jason Kidd showing them how to close down defense in crunch time. LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points and cheered up the crowd with a 9-for-14 start from the field, but he too struggled at the wrong time and only took one shot in that cold fourth quarter streak -- a dunk at 13, 3 seconds to go after the game was all but decided. He missed two shots and gave up a turnover in the final at 2:35 when Doncic closed shop. Twice Malik Monk switched to layups in the dying minutes while Carmelo Anthony missed late 3-point shots from the wing. "We literally missed shots," James said. "I mean, you can execute, you can execute the best games ever, but the ball has to go in." Anthony added 20 points from the bench and helped take the Lakers' 14-for-34 shooting performance from 3 points - Lead range. Monk had 17 points and Russell Westbrook had 12, but the two starting supervisors combined just shot 10 for 31 from the field. "I just need to get better overall," Westbrook said, banging his fist on the podium after the game while staring at the stat sheet. After a 28-point loss to New Orleans on Sunday night, the Lakers had hit a new low and were loudly booed for most of the second half. In the first half against Dallas, it looked like the follow-up was headed in the same direction: The Lakers were as much as 21 points behind in the second quarter, with a disjointed offense and weakly contested close-outs on defense. Another dead night in the water suddenly changed direction during a stint led by James, who led a 26-9 run on his shift in the third quarter. His recently cold 3-ball warmed up as he hit three in the third quarter alone — most notably a shot from the “S” of the Lakers midcourt logo that enlivened the Crypto.com Arena. Substituted 82-80 with the Lakers up front after going into halftime 15 points down, James collapsed on the bench with a smile as injured big man Anthony Davis (in street clothes) picked him up praised. But the Lakers' best attribute during that period was defense: The Mavericks shot just 6 for 19 in the third while spitting out seven turnovers for the Lakers to turn the tide. Vogel credited a smaller lineup — starting with Monk, Stanley Johnson and Austin Reaves — for giving the Lakers a chance. "There are actually many benefits to having them disrupt their pick-and-roll attack rhythm by switching," he said. The surest sign that some of the frost had melted away came in the fourth quarter when James faced Dallas' Reggie Bullock. James was captured along with Westbrook and Trevor Ariza on Sunday night while munching with a fan on the sidelines. “Listen, I ride or die with the Laker faithful to make them boo, I'm with them; they scream I'm with them," he said. The Lakers have their next chance to end their slide game Thursday night against the Clippers, whom they are 3-0 this season. How much the Lakers themselves can stay together depends on the next games. James and Westbrook still said they believe the team can do something special despite looking as vulnerable as they've looked in recent weeks. "Until you knock me out, cut off my head, bury me 12 feet underground, then I have a chance," James said. Of course at the end of the day we have to come in here and win ball games and we have to play better. But as long as we have more games to play, we still have a chance." LeBron James talks about the importance of the #Lakers reacting to this loss vs. "I need to get better overall. What I'm doing right now isn't good enough.” Russell Westbrook after a 5-17 shooting night in the #Lakers loss to Dallas. pic.twitter.com/mgM55WBaxT

Read

LeBron insists spiraling Lakers still 'stand a chance'

As bleak as things may seem for the Lakers after their 10th loss in 13 games, LeBron James insisted he will not give up the season, while sources say he is determined to play the 2021-22 season, where wherever it goes. (Author: Gardener)

LeBronLOS ANGELES -- As bleak as things may seem for the Lakers after Tuesday's 109-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks -- their 10th loss in their last 13 games -- Los Angeles left just two games before being eliminated from play-in fall tournament overall, LeBron James insisted he would not give up the season. "We still have games to play," he said after the Mavs ended the game on a 15-4 run in the final seven and a half minutes of the fourth quarter to win it. James, who has missed 17 games this season with various injuries and most recently missed five games from late January to early February with a swelling in his left knee, has no plans to end his season at any point, sources close to James said ESPN. James is determined to play the season wherever it takes it. In James' debut season with the Lakers in 2018-19, he sat out nine of LA's last 14 games -- including the last six straight -- after missing a significant portion of the previous season with a groin injury. Just before the All-Star break, James was asked about the condition of his knee and said he would need more time to get back to 100%. "The only way it'll come back to full strength is rest," he said. The Lakers, who suffered what might be their worst loss of the season on Sunday when they were booed off the field by the home crowd en route to a 28-point loss to a New Orleans Pelicans team who chase them in the standings, Dallas looked better, but some of their stubborn issues were there. They fell back as much as 21 points in the first half, a theme of theirs, and Russell Westbrook fought mightily, shooting 5-for-17 from the field. Of course, Westbrook's problems have plagued the team since training camp. "Must get better overall," Westbrook said of his game. "What I'm doing right now isn't good enough. It's not good enough.” Like James, Westbrook asserted that L.A. has a lot more to offer. "Super confident we're going to be fine," Westbrook said. "I have faith in this group like I've always had. And we can play the best teams. I'm not worried about anyone we have to play against. The Lakers (27-34) are No. 9 at the moment the seed, two games at No. 10 New Orleans playing virtually with the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 11, who are also two games behind L. "Obviously at the end of the day we have to come in here and win ball games and we have to play better, but as long as we have more games to play we should have a chance," James said. I'm in the mood for poop right now. But tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to be prepared and ready for the Clippers on Thursday.

Read

Lakers' Frank Vogel is pleased to welcome D.J. Augustine in the backcourt

Vogel, who coached the 34-year-old point guard at previous stints in Indiana and Orlando, suggests he could become an important cog in smaller units. (Author: Gardener)

Frank VogelBut Frank Vogel, who coached the 34-year-old point guard at previous stints in Indiana and Orlando, said they had already exchanged some texts. In the midst of a season that required some sort of restructuring, Vogel sounded as excited as anyone to bring Augustin to the team. "I know his game really well," Vogel said ahead of Tuesday's game against Dallas. "He's arriving late tonight - we can sit down and talk more about where he fits into our team. But I like what he brings to the table, not just with the off-ball ability to shoot the basketball and stretch the floor and give our boys more space. Augustin is slated to be the Lakers' backup point guard behind Russell Westbrook, and while Vogel said he should provide "depth," his enthusiasm suggested the 5-foot-11 veteran could be in the rotational mix. He brings much-needed shooting (40.6% from 3-point range) and could help the team build play in secondary units. When big All-Star man Anthony Davis recovers, Vogel envisions Augustin will be a key tooth in smaller lineups. "When he played with (Nikola Vucevic), I thought he was having the best period of his career," Vogel said. “He's a very, very good pocket pass and pick and roll playmaker. And you have to go over his pick and rolls or he'll hit you over the top.” It was only possible to sign Augustin after waiving veteran center DeAndre Jordan, who recently retired from the Lakers rotation . "We wish DeAndre the best," Vogel said. Augustine's addition challenges other roster decisions. If the Lakers needed a replacement point guard, why did they sell Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this winter? At this point, Vogel was blunt: "Rondo was brought here to be a third-string point guard behind Russell — not to play with Russell. Your skills don't match. They don't fit on the floor. Given that the Lakers need outside shots, it's striking that Wayne Ellington is still on the list, averaging 38.4% behind the arc. But the veteran shooting guard has only played 36 games this season, which Vogel says is an indication of how others have infused the lineup with more defensiveness. At one point, the Lakers were hoping that Kendrick Nunn could give them a backup point guard with some defensive advantages. That didn't go well: A bruised bone in his right knee kept Nunn out for the entirety of the regular season, and the last projected return schedule was set for late March. Vogel said the Augustin acquisition didn't rule out Nunn's comeback. "We just don't know anything about Kendrick," Vogel said. Until we see him back on the ground we need help at that position and with those skills.” The Lakers also have 6-foot-9 forward Wenyen Gabriel, who has only played seven NBA games this season, with one Signed two-way contract while forgoing Sekou Doumbouya to make squad spot. Vogel said Gabriel is more likely to be with the Lakers than play for their South Bay G-League affiliate. "Hopefully we can get some practice time, we can see him and see what he can do up close," Vogel said. “But he has skills that match what we need. So we'll have to see what Wenyen brings to the table, but it's possible that he could come into the rotation and play something."

Read

The struggling Lakers fall apart again in the loss to the Mavericks and remain winless since the All-Star break

The Lakers overcame a 21-point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter but couldn't hold on, falling 3-0 since the All-Star break. (Author: Gardener)

All-StarLOS ANGELES — Luka Doncic scored seven of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Jalen Brunson added 22 points and the Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 109-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Dorian Finney-Smith had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who held on to their eighth win in ten games after losing a huge lead to the struggling Lakers early on. Dallas was 100-94 with seven minutes to go before scoring 11 straight points in a rally started by Brunson's fourth 3-pointer. LeBron is coming," said Dallas coach Jason Kidd. That's one of the things we've gotten better at, and in the fourth quarter we went back to what we did at Golden State. We kept them at 17 points. That's very good." Doncic went 9 from 21 and looked a lot less sharp than most previous games during his month-long shot on goal, but made enough big baskets to win it. "We're together stayed and just executed the game plan, played the game," said Doncic. "My mentality is to end the game with the best possible shot. LeBron James had 26 points and Carmelo Anthony had 20 for the Lakers, who suffered their sixth loss in seven games, despite closing a 21-point deficit in just over 12 exciting minutes at halftime. Los Angeles only managed four points in the last seven-plus minutes. "I don't know if you can do Luka better than we can tonight," said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. "Our guys really struggled. Our helpers really competed but he had that stretch in crunch time where he scored a couple of buckets in a row. All those guys in there are suffering. We put in the work and the play-in tournament always sees it Los Angeles is 0-3 since the All-Star break. "We still have games to play," James said. We have to come here and win ball games and play better, but as long as we have to play ball games, we have a chance." Two nights after the Lakers were booed by their home fans in a lifeless loss to New Orleans, James and his teammates applauded the crowd for their efforts and comeback - but the result was the same.Dallas finished a five-game road trip with four wins, but only after weathering a largely poor second half.The Mavs went in a first half that highlighted by Doncic's riotous one-handed putback dunk on Dwight Howard late in the first quarter, recalled their huge lead."I hit my head (on the rim)," Doncic said, laughing. "We're not going to talk about that. The first half saw looked like another wreck for the Lakers, who got three technical fouls for failing on their misses and theirs lenen defense had argued. Vogel, Kent Bazemore and Russell Westbrook, who missed eight of his first nine shots, were all counted. But Los Angeles went on a 22-7 run from halftime and equalized with cold-shooting Dallas on James' 3-pointer. TIPS: Lakers - They also gave up Sekou in two directions Doumbouya to earn a second roster spot Avery Bradley missed his fourth straight game with a right knee injury Mavericks - Dallas avenged a home loss to the Lakers in December while Doncic was sidelined with an ankle injury With an ugly hand at the close, the Lakers gave up disappointing center DeAndre Jordan on Tuesday and signed veteran point guard D. ROUGH RUSS: Westbrook went 5-for-17 and missed all four of his 3-point attempts in the last frustrating game for the 2017 NBA MVP - despite his 38 minutes being turnover-free. "I need to get better overall," Westbrook said. "What I'm doing right now isn't good enough." The Lakers play the Clippers on Thursday.

Read

LeBron James and Lakers fend off from 21st place and fall to Mavs in a frustrating finish

The Lakers rallied but allowed the Dallas Mavericks to return late in Tuesday's 109-104 loss at Crypto.com Arena. (Author: Gardener)

LeBron JamesDallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic drives past Lakers forward LeBron James during the second half of Tuesday at Crypto.com Arena. LeBron James fell onto the Lakers bench like a construction worker after a 16-hour day, arms and legs flew out, head rolled back, gaze at the ceiling. He was exhausted, physically exhausted from battling for position in the paint, mentally drained from yet another needed comeback after the Lakers' greatest weaknesses were mercilessly exposed by the Mavericks. It was late in the third quarter on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena, a barrage of James' jumpers adding momentum to the Lakers. Slow on defense, cold on offense, frustration everywhere, the Lakers once again dug a hole too deep to escape in a 109-104 loss. And there's no sign of things getting any easier, the team have 21 games left to salvage some positive results from a season riddled with disappointments. Tuesday's script - and that of so many games this season - just won't work. Their efforts to reverse a Mavericks 21-point lead with a dominant third quarter that gave them the lead into the fourth was wasted by a stuttering finish. The Lakers are just too flawed, too understaffed, too inconsistent to survive being 20+ behind. With James, they're good enough to come back and make it interesting. Without enough of everything else, they can't win. James had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony had 20 points off the bench and Malik Monk had 17. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 25 points. In contrast to their mindless performance Sunday against New Orleans, which marked a new low in a season of deepening bottom, the Lakers played with a lot of heart against the Mavericks. But heart and drive won't cut it, especially against a team with realistic playoff goals like the Mavericks. After a tight first quarter, Dallas' lead grew to as much as 21 as the Lakers' defense against Doncic and Jalen Brunson was toothless. They got stops in the third quarter and pushed in transition, reversing the lead and benching James in a heap. And although the Lakers extended their lead to as many as six in the fourth quarter, they were outplayed 15-4 on the stretch while the Mavericks went into the win with little resistance. Lakers guard Malik Monk shoots while Dallas Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock (right) and center Dwight Powell defend during the second half Tuesday at Crypto.com Arena. Ahead of their third loss in a row, the man who was once set to take Vogel's job spent Tuesday afternoon defending him. Jason Kidd, who was hired as a Lakers assistant before the team even had a coach, was seen by many as a likely replacement should Vogel stumble in his first few months on the job in 2019. He, not Vogel, was the man with the deepest ties to the Lakers' best players, and he, not Vogel, would cater to the organization's star-driven tendencies. But as the Lakers continued to win, Vogel and Kidd formed a close bond that continues now as Kidd coaches the rival Mavericks. Kidd even left Vogel a present in the dressing room when those teams met for the first time this season. And on Tuesday, before they played again, the Lakers in the midst of a miserable slump, Kidd Vogel gave another one -- an endorsement. “He will work through this process that he is going through with his team right now. Frank's a great coach in this league," Kidd said quietly but directly. Though he wasn't fully cleared of the Lakers' mistakes this season — it would be difficult to call someone with a fingerprint of that group innocent — Vogel was forced to struggle all season. And that tussle continued against the Mavericks with another starting lineup. The Lakers opened the game with James in the center flanked by Austin Reaves, Monk, Stanley Johnson and Russell Westbrook. It was their 30th different starting lineup this season and another that didn't result in a win. "What I'm doing right now isn't good enough," Westbrook said after another tough night of shooting for 5 vs 17. It'll be over soon, James and the crew have plenty of time to rest if they can't make the right changes.

Read

The Lakers' second-half rally falls short against the Mavericks

LeBron James helps the Lakers erase a 21-point deficit with a strong third quarter, but Luka Doncic and Dallas dominate late, giving them their 10th loss in 13 games. (Author: Gardener)

second-halfLOS ANGELES — After a lifeless performance Sunday night, the Lakers needed some sort of sign to show they're still kicking. On Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, they ran to the bottom, defended, and came back from a big hole. A crowd that had booed them two nights earlier returned to their side as they led by six points against a credible opponent midway through the fourth quarter. But that brief surge was surpassed by the cold, methodical approach of Luka Doncic, who moved the Lakers defense like chess pieces and whose stepback jump shot just didn't have a counter. "I don't know if you can do a better job for Luka than we can tonight," said coach Frank Vogel after the Lakers held the Slovenian 9-21 but couldn't stop him in the end. But they still need a win after falling to the Mavericks, 109-104, their third straight loss since the All-Star Break. The ninth-ranked Lakers are just two games away from being completely eliminated from the play-in tournament and have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Doncic (25 points) and Jalen Brunson (22 points) helped the Mavericks pull past the Lakers despite a third quarter in which the Lakers beat them 31-14, making it possible for the hosts to end their losing streak could. But they ended up being snuffed out by a side who - last seen them - had beaten them with a game-winner in overtime. The Mavericks held them to just four points this time in the final 7:35 of the fourth quarter, with former Lakers assistant Jason Kidd showing them how to close down defense in crunch time. LeBron James scored a game-high 26 points and cheered up the crowd with a 9-for-14 start from the field, but he too struggled at the wrong time and only took one shot in that cold fourth quarter streak -- a dunk at 13, 3 seconds to go after the game was all but decided. He missed two shots and gave up a turnover in the final at 2:35 when Doncic closed shop. Twice Malik Monk laid up in the last few minutes while Carmelo Anthony missed late 3-pointers off the wing. "We literally missed shots," James said. "I mean, you can execute, you can execute best games ever, but the ball has to go in." Monk had 17 points and Russell Westbrook had 12, but the two starting supervisors combined just shot 10 for 31 from the field. "I just need to get better overall," Westbrook said, banging his fist on the podium after the game while staring at the stat sheet. After a 28-point loss to New Orleans on Sunday night, the Lakers had hit a new low and were loudly booed for most of the second half. In the first half against Dallas, it looked like the follow-up was headed in the same direction: The Lakers were as much as 21 points behind in the second quarter, with a disjointed offense and weakly contested close-outs on defense. Another dead night in the water suddenly changed direction during a stint led by James, who led a 26-9 run on his shift in the third quarter. His recently cold 3-ball warmed up as he hit three in the third quarter alone — most notably a shot from the “s” of the Lakers midcourt logo that enlivened the Crypto.com Arena. Substituted 82-80 with the Lakers up front after going into halftime 15 points down, James collapsed on the bench with a smile as injured big man Anthony Davis (in street clothes) picked him up praised. But the Lakers' best attribute during that period was defense: The Mavericks shot just 6 for 19 in the third while spitting out seven turnovers for the Lakers to turn the tide. Vogel credited a smaller lineup — starting with Monk, Stanley Johnson and Austin Reaves — for giving the Lakers a shot. "There are actually many benefits to having them disrupt their pick-and-roll attack rhythm by switching," he said. The surest sign that some of the frost had melted away came in the fourth when James took on Dallas' Reggie Bullock. James was captured along with Westbrook and Trevor Ariza on Sunday night while munching with a fan on the sidelines. “Listen, I ride or die with the Laker faithful to make them boo, I'm with them; they scream I'm with them," he said. The Lakers have their next chance to end their slide game Thursday night against the Clippers, whom they are 3-0 this season. How much the Lakers themselves can stay together depends on the next games. James and Westbrook still said they believe the team can do something special despite looking as vulnerable as they've looked in recent weeks. "Until you knock me out, cut off my head, bury me 12 feet underground, then I have a chance," James said. Of course at the end of the day we have to come in here and win ball games and we have to play better. But as long as we have more games to play, we still have a chance."

Read

The HBO Series About the Rise of the LA Lakers Dynasty Is Messy, Flashy Fun (review)

John C. Reilly leads an outstanding cast in the story of how Hollywood glamor and athletic excellence helped the Los Angeles Lakers revolutionize basketball. (Author: Gardener)

HBOThe HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty faces some pretty daunting hurdles when it comes to wooing viewers. No, this is a drama with comedy and satire, a tone that definitely sounds challenging but viewers may be familiar with from executive producer Adam McKay's other works like "Don't Look Up" and "The Big Short." Despite possible warning signs, "Winning Time" marches on, assuming viewers will keep up, whether they're already Los Angeles Lakers fans or just happen to be tuning in because the series airs on HBO, so it has to be a prestige project to take time for . "Winning Time" is likely to be fun for fans with a thorough knowledge of National Basketball Association history, but the 10-part series packs enough style to keep it quite alive, even for Schlubs who spend more time on the couch than they ever have have on the pitch. In addition to the on-screen story that details the start of the Lakers' "Showtime" era, there's a backstory that's pretty juicy. For one, the show is adapted from sportswriter Jeff Pearlman's non-fiction book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. When HBO ordered a series, it was renamed, presumably because HBO didn't want a series called "Showtime" when one of its premium cable competitors is, uh, named Showtime. And that's small potatoes compared to the story of how the role would be cast as Jerry Buss, the Burt Reynolds-style wannabe womanizer who bought the Lakers in 1979 and helped usher in the era of basketball as a showbiz spectacle . McKay, who has been a creative partner with Saturday Night Live veteran Will Ferrell for years, decided not to cast Ferrell as Buss, although Ferrell reportedly wanted the role. McKay cast Michael Shannon as Buss instead, but that didn't work out. Ultimately, Ferrell and McKay's partnership dissolved, and it's reported that their friendship has also come to an end — at least for now. Reilly, who plays Buss, feels totally at ease. It's certainly a no-nonsense performance, as Buss constantly tries to style his receding hairline to resemble a full head of hair (with little success), struts around in jeans and an unbuttoned shirt that makes him look like a total pig, and he's always eerily hitting on younger women. As "Winning Time" begins, we catch the moment in 1991 when Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr. is diagnosed with HIV. The series then revisits a different era in 1979 when Buss bought the Lakers and Johnson was drafted to join the team. In the eight episodes (of 10 total) made available for preview, we see how Buss, who enjoyed spending time at the Playboy Mansion, brought a vision to pro basketball that combined sybaritic Hollywood flash and athletic ability. But what really makes "Winning Time" skyrocket is the energy behind it and a cast that couldn't be better. While the varied film stocks at the parade can feel gimmicky, it helps that the cast is filled with top-notch talent. As Buss, a character who would be easy to repel, Reilly maintains a level of driven energy that keeps us watching even as we shy away from his more gross tendencies. As Laker star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Quincy Isaiah is a marvel who channels Magic's epic smile and outgoing charisma, while Solomon Hughes as intellectual and socially conscious superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar captures the legendary athlete's introverted nature and sensitivity to racial discrimination. To his credit, "Winning Time," co-created by Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht, also shows an awareness of the power imbalance between the Lakers, whose star players are black, and the whites, who hold positions of power as owners and coaches . Of particular interest to locals is Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, who transitioned from a job as an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers to a job as the head coach of the Lakers during the 1977 NBA championship season, where he brought a vision of the gun -and-run style of play with constant movement that made the Lakers a sensation. As if that wasn't enough, "Winning Time" also includes a brief appearance by Phil Knight (played by Olli Haaskivi) trying to get Magic to agree to a deal promoting Magic-branded Nike shoes. "Winning Time" may not make all the right decisions either. But in its clutter and exuberance, the series keeps us engaged, even if we're not die-hard Lakers. "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 6 on HBO; stream on HBO Max.

Read

Christmas lectures in live stream

Filming of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2019 will be broadcast live across the UK (Author: Gardener)

ChristmasMichael Faraday would agree: Filming of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES to be streamed live nationwide Filming of the Royal Institution's CHRISTMAS LECTURES is to be streamed live across the UK for the first time, it was announced today. Following a successful pilot in a handful of venues over the past year, the 2019 Lectures will be shown in venues ranging from Thurso in Scotland to Huddersfield in northern England and Swansea in Wales. Overall, the number of live streaming venues will almost quadruple from 5 to 18, representing true UK coverage. And with tickets for the live lectures by the mathematician and TV presenter Dr. Hannah Fry at the Ri's London Theatre, overbooked by more than 20 times, the move will greatly increase the number of people able to experience the magic first hand in the world's longest-running scientific lecture series. The Ri was supported in disseminating the lectures nationwide by the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centers (ASDC), which brings together all the major public science centers and museums across the UK. Shaun Fitzgerald, Director of the Ri, said: “We want to connect as many people as possible with science and this is a wonderful opportunity to expand the reach of one of our most important events. “The CHRISTMAS LECTURES is not only an amazing show, but also the ideal opportunity to critically examine the impact of science on our lives. We are delighted that thousands of people can enjoy the magic of the lectures live in such amazing places. dr Penny Fidler, Chief Executive of ASDC, said: “We are passionate about democratizing science and empowering people everywhere to explore science and new ideas. We are delighted to partner with The Ri to bring the excitement of filming this world-renowned lecture series to young people and communities across the UK.” In the CHRISTMAS LECTURES 2019, Secrets and Lies: the hidden power of maths will Hannah Fry reveal a hidden layer of mathematics that is now affecting everyday life in powerful and surprising ways. Life's most amazing wonders can be understood with probability, big data dictates many of the trends we follow, and powerful algorithms are secretly influencing even our most important life decisions. In the three talks, Hannah shows us how to decipher life's hidden numbers and help us all make better decisions, separate news from fake news and regain some of the control we've lost. And by asking big ethical questions, she will warn how our unshakable belief in numbers can lead to disaster. Are there any problems that mathematics cannot solve? Is it right that AI can decide who lives or dies? Filming of the 2019 Lectures will be streamed live from the Royal Institution's famed theater on December 12, 14 and 17 and will be broadcast on BBC Four between Christmas and the New Year. Broadcasting live to a total of 18 venues across the UK, the presentations will see Hannah Fry debunking the hidden numbers, rules and patterns that secretly influence our daily lives in three presentations... in ways we could never imagine. She explores how our gut instincts are often unreliable, while an unseen layer of math rules everyday life in powerful and surprising ways. Big data dictates many of the hot new fads we follow. In a series of talks full of amazing demos and live experiments, Hannah shows us how to decipher life's hidden numbers; to help us all make better decisions, separate fact from fiction, and live happier lives. Hannah reveals suspicious statistics, technical meltdowns and deadly data, and asks big ethical questions about the trust we place in math today. Do computer algorithms have too much control over our lives and privacy? I. decide whether someone lives or dies? Ultimately, by exploring the frontiers of mathematics and its role in our modern world, Hannah unveils and celebrates what makes our human minds so unique. dr Hannah Fry is Associate Professor of Mathematics of Cities at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. In addition to her academic position, Hannah is an experienced speaker, bringing the joy of mathematics to theaters and schools, and was a regular speaker at the Royal Institution. Her critically acclaimed BBC documentaries include Britain's Greatest Invention, City in the Sky (BBC Two), Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Maths, The Joy of Winning, Horizon - The Honest Supermarket: What's Really in Our Food? She also presents The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry (BBC Radio 4) and The Maths of Life with Lauren Laverne (BBC Radio 6). Hannah has also authored a number of books. Her latest book, Hello World: How to be human in the age of the machine (Penguin Random House/Transworld), was shortlisted for the prestigious Bailie Gifford Prize for Non Fiction and the Royal Society Book Prize. She is very much looking forward to presenting this year's CHRISTMAS LECTURES and delving into the hidden power of mathematics. Follow Hannah on Twitter and Instagram at @fryrsquared and find more information on her website: www.hannahfry.co.uk , and to our other CHRISTMAS LECTURES supporters, UK Research and Innovation and Schlumberger. To find out how to join our community of CHRISTMAS LECTURES supporters, please contact [email protected] About Royal Institution Membership Our members are at the heart of Ri and their support is critical to helping us fulfill our mission, building on our heritage and creating opportunities for all to discover science and its ways , discussing and critically examining shapes the world around us. By becoming a Ri member, you join a community of like-minded people who share a curiosity and passion for science. Members receive free or half-price tickets to Ri lectures, participation in ticket voting for the CHRISTMAS LECTURES, and a variety of other related benefits. About the history of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES The CHRISTMAS LECTURES are the Royal Institution's largest and most prominent science demonstration events for young people. The CHRISTMAS LECTURES have been inspiring children and adults alike since 1825. The lectures were initiated by Michael Faraday at a time when there was a lack of organized education for young people. He presented 19 series himself and thus established an exciting new way of communicating science to young people. The CHRISTMAS LECTURES have been continued annually since the 1825 series, interrupted only for four years during the Second World War. Many world-renowned scientists have given the lectures, including Nobel Prize winners William and Lawrence Bragg, Sir David Attenborough, Carl Sagan and Dame Nancy Rothwell. The CHRISTMAS LECTURES were first televised by the BBC in 1936, making it the first science program on British state television. They have been televised every year since 1966 by the BBC and in later years on Channel Five, Channel Four and more4. In 2010 the lectures returned to BBC Four. In 2016, a Christmas lecture book entitled 13 Journeys Through Space and Time was published for the first time. A second book in the '11 Explorations of Life on Earth' series, with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, was published in November 2017 and the third volume '10 Journeys Through the Human Mind' is due out in October 2019. Windfall Films has an international reputation as a producer of innovative factual television. Recent productions include The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway, about the construction of Crossrail for BBC 2; Horizon - The Placebo Experiment: Can My Brain Heal My Body? Windfall is one of the UK's leading producers of science and technology programming and is part of the Argonon Group. Previous programs include: Horizon - Britain's Next Air Disaster? and Alastair Campbell: Depression and Me for BBC2, Britain's Viking Graveyard and Secrets of Egypt's Valley of the Kings - Channel 4; Chris and Michaela - Under the Christmas Sky BBC2; The Blitz: Britain on Fire Channel 5, Strip the Cosmos - Discovery Science, Hidden Britain by Drone with Tony Robinson for Channel 4 and Saving Planet Earth: Fixing A Hole, the story of the hole in the ozone layer for Channel 4. Its community of over 41,500 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 employees strives for academic excellence, pushes boundaries and has a positive impact on real-world problems.

Read

Cetera Investment Advisers has a $1.17 million stock position in Snap Inc. (NYSE

Read that Cetera Investment Advisers has a $1.17 million stock position in Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) at ETF Daily News (Author: Gardener)

NYSE(NYSE:SNAP - Get Rating) rose 41.3% in the third quarter, the company said in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 15,873 shares of the company after selling 11,169 shares during the period. Cetera Investment Advisers' holdings in Snap were worth $1,173,000 at the time of the last SEC filing. A number of other institutional investors have also recently changed their positions in the business. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its holdings of Snap shares by 9.3% in the second quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 141,249,369 shares of the company's stock valued at $9,624,732,000 after purchasing an additional 12,004,573 shares last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC increased its position in Snap by 9.3% in the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 45,038,008 shares of the Company's stock valued at $3,326,958,000 after purchasing an additional 3,833,307 shares during the most recent quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Snap by 3.9% during the third quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 15,070,978 shares of the company's stock valued at $1,113,293,000 after purchasing an additional 563,111 shares last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Snap by 7.7% in the third quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 9,258,028 shares of the company's stock valued at $682,550,000 after purchasing an additional 664,769 shares last quarter. P. increased his stake in Snap shares by 139.6% during the second quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 6,034,100 shares of the company's shares valued at $404,703,000 after purchasing an additional 3,515,300 shares last quarter. 54.85% of the shares are owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors. In related news, VP Jerry James Hunter sold 63,623 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 16. The stock sold at an average price of $39.86 for a total transaction of $2,536,012.78. Also, insider Jeremi Gorman sold 36,335 shares of the company's stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 16. The shares sold at an average price of $44.85 for a total value of $1,629,624.75. Insiders have sold a total of 1,248,850 shares of the company's stock valued at $48,208,790 over the past ninety days. The company has a debt to equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 5.70 and a current ratio of 5.70. Snap (NYSE:SNAP - Get Rating) last reported its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 3rd. The company reported earnings per share of $0.01 for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of ($0.10) by $0.11. For the same period last year, the company reported ($0.07) earnings per share. Equity analysts are predicting that Snap Inc. will post -0.29 EPS for the current fiscal year. Several equity analysts have recently published reports on the company. Truist Financial lowered its price target on Snap to $65.00 from $75.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 26. Morgan Stanley lowered its price target on Snap shares to $60.00 from $65.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 19. KeyCorp raised its price target on Snap shares to $45.00 from $36.00 in a research report on Friday, February 4. Piper Sandler lowered her price target on Snap shares to $53.00 from $72.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, February 4. Finally, Oppenheimer lowered its price target on Snap shares to $55.00 from $75.00 and gave the stock a "Outperform" rating in a research report on Friday, February 4. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight with a hold rating and twenty three with a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Snap currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $58.12. Visit HoldingsChannel.com for the latest 13F filings and insider trading for Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP - Get Rating). Receive News & Ratings for Snap Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Snap and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter .

Read