The Rock May Have Motivated Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers to Knock Off the Nuggets

The Lakers have one of the youngest teams in the entire NBA. The average age of the players on the team is just a shade under 25, and while that should offer some hope for the future to all of the Lakers fans out there, it also indicates that the majority of the Lakers players still have a lot to learn—both on and off the basketball court.

To try and help them along in life, the Lakers have set up a series of “Genius Talks” this season that have featured high-profile people coming in and talking to the team. Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and rapper Kendrick Lamar are just a few of the celebrities who have delivered motivational speeches to the team in recent months.

On Tuesday, it was Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson’s turn to do it. He met with Lakers players, coaches, and executives and shared his story with the team in an effort to motivate them. According to the Orange County Register, The Rock spoke about overcoming adversity and disappointment during his speech to the team.

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and controlling owner/president Jeanie Buss were ecstatic to have The Rock in the building.

It looks like whatever The Rock said really lit a fire up under the Lakers, too. On Tuesday night, they took on the Nuggets, a team that had beaten them in their last two matchups, at the Staples Center. And despite blowing a double-digit lead in the first half and falling behind by 5 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers rallied to knock off the Nuggets 112-103 to pull themselves back to within just five games of .500 on the season.

It’s impossible to say whether or not The Rock actually had anything to do with the performance the Lakers put forth against Denver. But after the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton suggested The Rock’s words seemed to put a little extra fire into rookie Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma scored a team-high 26 points against the Nuggets, including 16 in the third quarter alone, despite playing with an ankle injury—and Walton told reporters The Rock’s speech may have had something to do with it.

“Maybe it was The Rock that motivated him to fight through the injury like that,” Walton said.

Kuzma didn’t say if that was actually the case. But he spoke with reporters as well and talked about how cool it was to have The Rock speak to the Lakers on Tuesday. Kuzma said that, like most people his age, he was a “big fan” of The Rock growing up, and he said he was amazed to learn The Rock is now a big fan of his as well. It seems The Rock saw the interview Kuzma did after scoring a career-high 38 points against the Rockets back in December, and he apparently told Kuzma he was impressed with it.

“He just loved my response to what I said,” Kuzma said. “He thought it was pretty cool, so that was pretty cool actually.”

The Rock may have had something to do with the Lakers playing so well against the Nuggets, but he might not deserve all of the credit. Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix met with the team this week as well. She spent time with the Lakers on Monday, and it sounds like she may have gotten the competitive juices flowing just like The Rock did. According to the Orange County Register, Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope challenged her to a race, which amused most of his teammates to no end.

“She was wearing jeans and untied Jordans and could probably still beat him in a race,” Kuzma said.

There’s no telling who the Lakers are going to bring in next as part of their “Genius Talks” series. But it’s clearly something that’s having an impact on the young team this season, and we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see other young NBA teams start adopting the same strategy in the coming seasons.

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The Lakers Might Call on Kendrick Lamar to Help Improve Their Team

On Monday night at the Staples Center, the Lakers will face the Warriors and there will be a special halftime show commemorating Kobe Bryant. The team plans to retire both jerseys he wore, No. 8 and No. 24, respectively. Since his retirement in April 2016, the Lakers have revitalized the team with a young core; among them are Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and others.

Rob Pelinka, the general manager for the Lakers, is one of the most important people in Kobe’s career. He spent 18 years as his agent before becoming the Lakers GM, and really, one of Kobe’s closest friends. Now, with Bryant away from the purple and gold, Pelinka is finding new ways to spark inspiration within the team, motivating them to reach the caliber and chemistry of past Laker squads.

It starts with talking with a few renaissance men who strive to change the world every day. In an interview with USA Today, Pelinka shared his idea of “Genius Talks.” He brings the team to people who are the absolute best in their industry in order to create an inspired culture within the Laker brand.

The first was Elon Musk, and they visited his SpaceX lab in nearby Hawthorne in October. Pelinka said:

“It was like going to the set of Ironman; just unbelievable. The players were just amazed. It was the coolest thing. One of the guys said (to Musk), 'Well we play against other teams, so how do you study your competition, or what's your way of staying No. 1?' And he said, 'My competition is irrelevant to me. If what I'm doing, I do excellently, then it doesn't matter.' And so you pick up little things like that.”

The next was Jeffrey Katzenberg, who co-founded Dreamworks and was the head of Disney studios from 1984 to 1994. The Hollywood mogul told them, according to Pelinka:

“'You know, when I was making the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, I had a mantra in my head, and it was exceed expectations.'” He said, ‘I wanted to sit in the back of the theater when the kids were watching, and I wanted them to be jumping out of their seat. I wanted to exceed their expectations.’”

A person who will undoubtedly inspire the Lakers is Kendrick Lamar, and it sounds like Pelinka may lock in the TDE rapper for an upcoming session of “Genius Talks.” Lamar's had an incredible year with the release of Damn and his seven Grammy nominations

Pelinka further explains that “Genius Talks” is meant to tap into the team's various interests to make them better people and better basketball players.

“Magic and I wanted to identify geniuses in their space. Our core belief is that more developed men make better basketball players. I think Magic, if you look at how diversified he is with his interests. Kobe, the guy studies everything under the sun. I'm reading a biography right now on Leonardo da Vinci, and he has the ultimate curiosity of all things. If he's painting a hummingbird, he wants to like take its tongue and see what it looks like so he can paint it. So geniuses in life, right, can inspire us on how to be better.”

“So once a month, we try to do that, and the reason that it, to me, is important, is it shows the way we're really trying to do things differently, and it gets back to what I said at the beginning: Support and service. How can we bring things to the guys to make them better human beings and better Lakers basketball players?”

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Lamar Odom Calls LaVar Ball a ‘Control Freak’

Lamar Odom was a guest on Wednesday’s episode of Everyday Struggle, and during the course of his interview with Nadeska, DJ Akademiks, and Joe Budden, the former Lakers star touched on a range of different topics, including everything from athletes taking a knee during the national anthem to his last stint in rehab.

And of course, the Everyday Struggle crew had to ask Odom for his thoughts on LaVar Ball, who is once again dominating the headlines this week after announcing that he has pulled his youngest son LaMelo out of his high school in order to homeschool and train him following a disagreement with LaMelo’s high school coach. Seeing as how Odom still considers himself a Laker and will no doubt cross paths with LaVar at some point since his oldest son Lonzo is now running point for the team, Odom was asked what he thinks about LaVar making the decision to have LaMelo skip high school—and Odom responded the same way that most people have. He said he doesn’t agree with what LaVar did.

“That seems drastic,” he said at about the 11:30 mark of the interview, “because you just gonna take him out of school because you don’t like the coach? What about if you don’t like the coach in his next basketball move or his move in college or the NBA if he makes it?… LaVar seems like a control freak, so maybe if he can’t control the team from the sideline, he might have a problem.”

Odom might not necessarily rock with LaVar or how he has conducted himself since he came into the national spotlight, but he said that he does think Lonzo is going to have a big impact on the Lakers. Even though Odom doesn’t expect much from the Lakers this season—he refused to tell Budden which current Lakers players he considers to be “trash,” but he didn’t deny that there's a lack of overall talent on the team right now—he believes Lonzo will put people in the seats at the Staples Center and help the team improve.

“I think Lonzo is going to help fill the stands, so I think that’s all that matters in that case,” Odom said, while also addressing how he thinks Lakers players will react to LaVar during the upcoming season. “I don’t think [LaVar] can affect what happens in the locker room. I think they’ll be a lot better. They’ll suck but they’ll be a good suck.”

Elsewhere in the interview, at around the 46-minute mark, Odom also touched on his current relationship with Kanye West, and he admitted that there isn’t much of a relationship to speak of at the moment despite the ties the two shared in the past when Odom was married to Kanye’s sister-in-law Khloé Kardashian.

“Kanye is a good dude, he was there for me when I was in a coma, and I woke up and seen Kanye,” he said, before talking about why he hasn’t spoken with him much lately. “I would say [my relationship with Kanye] probably deteriorated with all the other relationships that were built [through the marriage to Khloé]. But it’s like that sometimes.”

You can check out Odom’s full Everyday Struggle interview in the video above.

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LeBron James to the Lakers? Yes, This Is a Rumor That’s Actually Going Around Right Now

From now until the time he retires, LeBron James' free agency decisions will be covered with the fervor of a presidential election or, say, an NBA prospect's loud-ass dad. This has been the case for a long time. Because of this well established fact—oh, and probably because the Cavs currently find themselves in a 3-0 Finals hole—rumors are seeping out about where LeBron will take his talents to next when he's a free agent in the summer of 2018 (yes, over a year from now).

Those rumors, which certainly won't be the last, have the current Cavs' star heading to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. The other rumor that came out on Thursday has him going to…oh, also L.A., but this time to the Clippers. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer relayed the chatter, which has reportedly been floating around NBA circles. O'Connor also made reference to a nearly year-old Yahoo article from Adrian Wojnarowski that said there was a belief throughout the league that James wouldn't remain in Cleveland for the remainder of his career. 

If you keep up with your LBJ rumors, this shouldn't come as a total shock, unless you expect him to somehow convince Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade to come to Ohio.

O'Connor also talked about some comments Jalen Rose made on First Take this week, where he said he thought LeBron would eventually play in Cali because he has a house a half an hour away from the Staples Center (the same one that got vandalized):

After the completion of the 2017-18 season, LeBron will have a player option for the 2018-19 campaign worth $35.6 million.

But perhaps LeBron doesn't think Cleveland will stay competitive in the future. Or *clears throat loudly* perhaps he likes the attention. Or perhaps he's just sick of the narrative of “Why can't LeBron James win titles?!” even when everybody knows it's kind of a BS point because he's going up against a Finals opponent that's clearly superior.

It's up to you to decide how fact-based these statements are. That's kind of the thing with LeBron: everything about him becomes news.

Anyway, have fun going through this all over again, Cavs fans.

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Zedd Details How He Created ACLU Benefit Concert In 72 Hours

Following the travel ban signed by President Trump earlier this month that disallowed travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S., Zedd announced a spontaneous benefit concert aimed at supporting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He reached out via his Twitter to call on likeminded artists to join the effort and support the acceptance and equal rights of all people, quickly recruiting the likes of Skrillex, Imagine Dragons, Tinashe, Incubus, Macklemore and more. The date for the official benefit concert, he told his fans, will be April 3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

In honor of his valiant idea and quick execution, Zedd sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss his personal philosophy behind the travel ban and the details regarding the formation of the historic event. Despite not being born in America, Zedd said he felt a personal connection to the victims of the situation.

“To be honest, [the travel ban] hasn’t directly affected me in any way. I also realize we’re only a couple weeks into this presidency. But coming from someone who was born in one country, lived in another and then in another – without a visa or a green card – I do feel a personal connection to what’s happening. And I like what the ACLU stands for. It’s not necessarily anti-Trump. It fights for everyone’s liberties. With this concert, I just want to reach people and make them more aware; let them make their own decisions.”

Zedd told Rolling Stone that Skrillex was the first to respond to his call, but that Incubus was the band that he was the most excited to work with.

“[They were] part of my musical education. I used to watch their Alive at Red Rocks DVD all the time, so I grew up wanting to play that stage the most. “Drive” really grabbed me and my friends. And A Crow Left of The Murder is one of my favorite albums.”

He described himself as a “pain in the ass” when it comes to production, due to his strict attention to the minute details that go into songwriting. He’ll push an entire release if he’s unsatisfied with a small portion of a song, he said. It’s that perfectionism, however, that he said led him to organize the ACLU benefit so efficiently.

“When we were designing the show poster, we went through a ton of revisions until I felt each artist was represented equally. You know, some logos appear larger than others because of the font and style. I was playing with the logo sizes until an hour and a half before the announcement. I tend to overthink things [Laughs].” 

In closing, Zedd revealed a funny tidbit about his rise to stardom. He told Rolling Stone that before Skrillex convinced him to do so, he would shy away from speaking over the microphone during his live shows.

“When my English was really bad, I didn’t use the microphone at all. And Skrillex, who I toured with a lot, was like, “You have to talk to the crowd.” But even asking people to shine their [cell phone] lights was a lot for me [Laughs]. It took me a long time before I felt comfortable. One time, I addressed the crowd as Los Angeles when I played New York. It was really embarrassing.”

To read Zedd’s complete interview with Rolling Stone, click here.

 

Source: Rolling Stone | Image: Rukes

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Zedd Details How He Created ACLU Benefit Concert In 72 Hours

Zedd Takes On Trump Supporter On Twitter

Zedd has never made it a point to hide his distaste for Trump and his policies, especially the recent executive order banning immigrants from seven major Muslim countries in the middle east.

In part in response to the Muslim ban, and otherwise to raise money for a good cause, Zedd launched a collaborative fundraising concert with the ACLU called #WELCOME, with performers like Skrillex, Halsey, Macklemore and more donating their time to the cause.

Since then, Zedd still hasn’t ceased his outspoken opinions against Trump, once again igniting something in his fanbase yesterday when he referenced the spelling error in our president’s official inauguration poster, available for sale on the official White House website.

One user seemed to take particular offense, and Zedd chose to respond to this individual, referencing his $4 million mansion and German citizenship.

The ACLU benefit concert will go down April 3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

 

Image via Rukes.com

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Zedd Takes On Trump Supporter On Twitter

How To Watch The Grammy Awards Online For Free

Tonight is the 59th Annual Grammy Awards which, as you know, is one of the most prestigious honors given to any recording artist or musician. The event will take place at Staples Center in Los Angels and be televised nationally starting at 8 PM EST / 5 PM PST. Sign up at the link below for free to watch the Grammy Awards stream online tonight.

How to watch the Grammy stream for free. 

As always, the award ceremony will feature plenty of live performances from some of the biggest names in music. James Corden of the Late Late Show will host the star-studded lineup including Daft Punk and The Weeknd, A Tribe Called Quest and Anderson .PaakSturgill Simpson, Lady Gaga and Metallica, Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin, Adele, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, and many more.

Of those artists, Anderson .Paak has also been nominated for two awards: Best New Artist, and Best Urban Contemporary Album for his sophomore LP Malibu. Both Daft Punk and A Tribe Called Quest received nominations for critically acclaimed works which will both be eligible for nomination during the next Grammy season. Sturgill Simpson had his album A Sailor’s Guide To Earth nominated for Album of the Year, while Chance the Rapper is up for a staggering seven nominations, from Best New Artist, to Best Rap Song, to Best Rap Album, and more. Adele is up for five nominations including Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

Though not performing, Beyoncé will be in attendance and leading with nine nominations, followed closely by Drake, Rihanna, and Kanye West with eight each.

While you await the 59th annual Grammy Awards relive Daft Punk’s historic performance from three years ago below.

H/T: Grammy

 

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: How To Watch The Grammy Awards Online For Free

Zedd Rolls Out Details For ACLU Benefit Concert, “WELCOME”

Zedd’s charity concert for the ACLU is happening, and it’s happening April 3 in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

The phase 1 lineup includes: Daya, Skrillex, Incubus, Zedd, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Macklemore, and Tinashe.

We’ll update with details on donations and how to attend when such information becomes available.

 

Image via Rukes.com

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Zedd Rolls Out Details For ACLU Benefit Concert, “WELCOME”

Only One Woman Has Ever Headlined Coachella, But It’s Not All Bad

Coachella’s lineup announcement generated a good amount of buzz, as 2016 marks the first year an electronic act was booked as a main-stage headliner. While this is certainly a big step for the electronic community, a look at Coachella’s 17-year history reveals an interesting fact about their headliner selections.

It seems that only one solo female act, Iceland’s Björk, has ever made it to the headlining slot at Coachella, claiming a place on main stage in both 2002 and 2007.

bjork coachella

Björk at Coachella 2007

However, female artists do make their way onto the bill, as they make up 16% of the average Coachella lineup. 2016 is even bigger, as 27% of the names booked are female-fronted acts. But is this enough?

Billboard recently published a piece that made some valid points as to why female artists aren’t making it to the top slots of Coachella. The top-tier acts like Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift are able to tour alone and draw massive, festival-sized crowds and earn more money than performing at an actual festival. Adele’s even playing SIX nights at the Staples Center this year, and all are expected to sell out. However, the article also argues that some of the slightly smaller names like Lorde, Ellie Goulding, and Lana Del Rey should be heavily considered for headlining spots. They are very feasible options, as it’s not hard to imagine a name like Lorde drawing a similar sized crowd as Calvin Harris at festivals like Coachella, not to mention the possibilities for people she could bring on stage with her… like Disclosure, perhaps.

While Coachella is making some moves by booking more female artists, it would be nice to see a few make it to the coveted headlining slot in the upcoming years.

 

Source

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Only One Woman Has Ever Headlined Coachella, But It’s Not All Bad