Lakers’ Brandon Ingram facing more physical challenges

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LAS VEGAS — In Brandon Ingram’s Las Vegas Summer League debut last week, the Los Angeles Lakers Jerseys rookie forward and No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft operated on the perimeter without much resistance from the opposition. In return, he took a few open shots or dished to teammates but played calm and with poise.

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However, in Ingram’s last two summer league games, opponents have changed up their approach and are instead aggressively pushing his 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame around, testing his strength and how he responds against brute force.

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So far, Ingram hasn’t responded all too well. He scored seven points on 3-of-12 shooting on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers Jerseys and then had seven points again Monday in the Lakers’ 78-65 win over the Golden State Warriors Jerseys at the Thomas & Mack Center.

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Ingram, for one, isn’t surprised by this tactic. The 18-year-old knows that that he is shockingly slight and that the biggest question surrounding his development is whether he can gain enough muscle to help deal with the grind of an 82-game regular season in a league full of players far more physically mature.


“I think just for my size and my frame, they just try to test me and it’s important for me to battle back and not just let them hit me but hit them also,” Ingram said.

Against the Warriors, though, Ingram tried to be the aggressor when he touched the ball, bulling into defenders at first chance.

“When guys get physical, I think it’s important to hit them first before they hit you,” he said.

That approach helped him reach the free-throw line nine times, and he knocked down seven of them. Still, he said he didn’t expect to miss so many shots through his first few games.

“But I think my teammates are helping me out a lot,” Ingram continued. “I think they still have confidence in me that I’ll just shoot the next shot or get back on the defensive end. All the guys off the bench are helping me out a lot. I think they’re getting in and they’re making a lot of plays on the offensive end and defensive end.”

It figures that teams will play Ingram physically throughout the regular season, but Lakers assistant Jesse Mermuys, who is coaching the team’s summer league squad, is encouraged by how he has seen Ingram adjust to that style in recent days.

“What I really liked [Monday night] is that they were clearly making a concerted effort to get up and be physical with him, and I love the fact that he doesn’t shy away from that,” Mermuys said. “He keeps attacking. He keeps trying. He keeps initiating contact and that’s a really good sign for a young guy. As skinny as he is, he’s not shying away from that contact and that abuse. He’s trying to go get it. And that’s a really good sign for him.”

Isaiah Crowell apologizes for social post, offers game check

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Cleveland Browns Jerseys Jerseys running back Isaiah Crowell Jerseys apologized for his social media reaction to last week’s killing of two black men by police and has pledged a game check to a Dallas police organization.

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Crowell said Tuesday that he made an “extremely poor decision” when he posted a drawing that graphically showed a hooded individual putting what looks like a machete into the throat of a police officer.

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In a video posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Crowell said that “by posting that picture I became part of the problem. I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. To back that up, my first game check is going to the Dallas Fallen Officers Foundation.”

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Browns Jerseys running back Isaiah Crowell Jerseys said last week was “emotional and difficult” but that his social media post about police was wrong. AP Photo/David Richard

Saying he wants to work toward opening dialogue between his community and police, Crowell also added: “I know this might not change your mind about me, and I know I can’t take the post back, but I’m sorry. And moving forward I’m committed to being part of the solution.”

The Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation was established in 2009 by active Dallas police officers to help immediate families of officers critically injured or killed in the line of duty.

Crowell’s post had created an uproar. On Monday, the Browns Jerseys organization did not mince words in its reaction.


“We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision,” the team said in a written statement. “It was completely inappropriate and we have made him aware of our high level of disappointment. Isaiah has apologized but also knows that just an apology is insufficient and that he must take steps to make a positive difference after a very negative and impactful post.”

Crowell had issued a statement on Monday that was released by the team.

“It was an extremely poor decision and I apologize for that mistake and for offending people,” he said. “My values and beliefs do not match that image.”

The post went up after the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and before the killing of five Dallas police officers Thursday night.

Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, also was critical of Crowell, telling TMZ Sports that the player’s “store-bought apology” was inadequate.

Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said that Crowell apologized to him in a call Tuesday and that Crowell said he was caught up in the emotion of last week.

Crowell wrote that he was “outraged and upset” by the killings of Sterling and Castile, and “outraged and saddened” by the killing of the five Dallas police officers. He called last week “an emotional and difficult week,” but said his post was wrong.

“We have to be better as a society,” Crowell said. “It’s not about color, it’s about what’s right and wrong. I was very wrong in posting that image. Every single life matters, every death as a result of violence should be treated with equal outrage and penalty.”

Crowell removed the image shortly after posting it, but the image still was shared on social media.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, when asked whether the league had any response, said: “The image was inappropriate and insensitive. He realized this, took down the post and has since apologized.”

Information from ESPN’s Pat McManamon was used in this report.

Trevor Hoffman short of Hall of Fame in debut

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SAN DIEGO — The (Hells) Bell didn’t toll for Trevor Hoffman on Wednesday, as he came up short in his first attempt to gain entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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But Hoffman, who amassed 601 career saves in 18 big league seasons, 16 with the Padres, certainly made a strong showing.

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Hoffman was named on 67.3 percent of ballots cast by the eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, falling short of the required 75 percent to gain a place in Cooperstown.

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However, a showing of more than 50 percent on the first attempt to gain entry to the Hall is generally considered a good sign.

How good?

Only two players — Jack Morris and Gil Hodges — were named to 60 percent of ballots and didn’t eventually gain entry to the Hall.

On Wednesday, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Hall of Fame. They will be inducted in a ceremony in Cooperstown in July.

Hoffman, who is currently a senior adviser for baseball operations for the Padres, was hoping to become the second player with the longest tenure in San Diego in the Hall, joining the late Tony Gwynn (2007).

The Padres released the following statement Wednesday on behalf of Hoffman:

“First and foremost, I want to congratulate Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza. This is a class of tremendous players and people, both deserving of the title Hall of Famer. While the news today wasn’t the news I was hoping for, I am humbled and honored to have been on the ballot and in the conversation with players of this caliber. If and when the day comes that I receive the ultimate honor in our game, I look forward to sharing it with my family, friends, teammates, the Padres organization, and most importantly, the fans.”

Former Padres outfielder Dave Winfield, who played the first eight years of his 22-year career with the Padres, was inducted into the Hall in 2001.

That Hoffman didn’t make it into the Hall on his first attempt didn’t rate as a total surprise, especially because the merits of his role — closer, and saves — have certainly been debated and scrutinized by voters, many who, admittedly, aren’t sure how to weigh those credentials.

Take the last two closers to be elected to the Hall — Bruce Sutter in 2006 and Rich “Goose” Gossage in 2008. They had 76.9 percent and 85.8 percent, respectively. Sutter was on the ballot for the 13th time and Gossage the ninth.


“It’s a specialty role,” Hoffman told recently. “We’ve seen the same thing with the DH. The writers really don’t know how to view one guy against another guy. I don’t think it’s cut and dried. I think Goose is the one guy to point to that was a big chip for the relievers to come.”

Hoffman, a former Minor League shortstop who converted to pitching, made his big league debut with the Marlins in 1993. He was dealt that season to the Padres, where he pitched until 2008 before playing his last two seasons with the Brewers.

Hoffman finished second in the National League Cy Young Award vote in 1998 and 2006.

Armed with a nasty changeup, Hoffman accumulated 601 saves — the most by far in NL history. That mark ranks second all time in MLB history to former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who finished with 652 saves and 42 more in the postseason.

Hoffman broke Lee Smith Jerseys’s all-time saves record of 478 and became the first pitcher to reach the 500- and 600-save milestones.

He had his No. 51 jersey retired by the Padres in 2011 and was elected into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments