Pelinka spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since the Lakers’ remarkable offseason overhaul began, and the irrepressibly optimistic former agent radiated excitement about the future for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in five seasons.“To get the commitment from LeBron James to come to the Lakers for four years was really the culmination of everything we’ve been working towards,” Pelinka said. “When LeBron chose to come here, it was the ultimate validation for the moves we’ve made and what we’ve been building since we started.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’The longest postseason drought in franchise history could be finished after James chose the Lakers in free agency. The club also added veterans Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson alongside their young core while parting ways with Julius Randle and Brook Lopez, among others.Pelinka and top executive Magic Johnson hope the result is a sturdy, defense-minded team with enough up-tempo offense to trouble the Warriors, the Houston Rockets and every other contender for the title. They only got one, although the Lakers still appear to be in contention for disgruntled San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard, who has a year left on his contract with the Spurs.No matter what happens, Pelinka said the Lakers’ series of one-year contracts around James will put them in position to have ample cap space again next summer, when several stars could be available to join James.Pelinka said the Lakers will have “an open training camp” in September, with only James guaranteed to be a starter. That means Rondo and second-year pro Lonzo Ball will compete to be Los Angeles’ starting point guard, a possibility that was welcomed by Rondo after he signed.Pelinka also said Ball will be fully healthy for training camp. The point guard has a torn meniscus in his left knee.Pelinka’s idiosyncrasies shone through again Wednesday, with the GM beginning his news conference by reading a passage from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist,” a book recommended to him by former client Bryant and carried by James throughout the playoffs. The passage describes the process of making a decision being “only the beginning of things.”“Hopefully it will lead to things … happening that are bigger than our dreams could ever imagine,” Pelinka said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka talks about the acquisition of LeBron James and other free agents at a news conference at the NBA basketball team’s headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Rob Pelinka says the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t trying to beat the Golden State Warriors at their own game.Instead, they’re building a team around LeBron James to do something different.ADVERTISEMENT Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names “I think to try to play the Warriors at their own game is a trap,” Pelinka said. “No one is going to beat them at their own game, so that is why we wanted to add these elements of defense and toughness and depth and try to look at areas where we will have an advantage.”Pelinka said the Lakers focused their free agency recruitment efforts on versatile, playoff-tested talents who can score and defend, instead of looking for elite players with only one specialty. He hopes the result will be a flexible, dangerous team under coach Luke Walton — and a different look around James, whose Cleveland Cavaliers teams often looked like a collection of perimeter shooters whose deficiencies were exposed by Golden State and others.Pelinka praised Rondo as a gritty guard whose championship pedigree will fill a void on the roster. He also described Stephenson as providing “an extreme toughness and an edge,” comparing his skills to Dennis Rodman’s contributions to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, or Metta World Peace’s work with Kobe Bryant’s late-career Lakers.“The road to the NBA championship has to go through the team that won last year, and we all know the guys up north have a special group,” Pelinka said. “But one of the ways to attack what they have is with defensive toughness. I think we saw that in the Houston series with some of the players that Houston has.”Pelinka’s desire for flexibility extended to the payroll as well. After years of trading away draft picks and acquiring high-priced veterans in an effort to win now with Bryant, the Lakers were overextended until Pelinka and Johnson spent the past 16 months creating enough salary cap space to sign two elite free agents.ADVERTISEMENT Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Experiencing traffic? Book a ‘ride-sharing flight’ to your destination PLAY LIST 01:02Experiencing traffic? 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Here are the top football headlines in Monday’s newspapers, with the Premier League sack race dominating the back pages…Chelsea could sack manager Jose Mourinho whether or not they beat Porto to stay in the Champions League this week. The Blues’ hierarchy are set to take action after the team’s EIGHTH Premier League of the season at the weekend. (Daily Mirror)It is claimed owner Roman Abramovich may act if the Blues lose to Porto and then against surprise league leaders Leicester next weekend. (The Sun)Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal’s job is NOT under threat should they exit the Champions League on Tuesday, despite the miss-firing Red Devils playing out a sixth 0-0 draw of the season on Saturday. (Daily Express) However, United will start their search for Van Gaal’s successor at the end of the season if, as expected, the Dutchman confirms he will retire at the end of his contract in 18 months. (Daily Telegraph) Yet, the club will still sit down with the Dutch manager in the New Year to determine whether the 64-year-old wishes to depart in 2017 or sign a fresh contract. (The Guardian) Meanwhile, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola could be prepared to take a 12-month break from football to make sure he lands the Manchester United job. (The Sun) Swansea have opened talks with former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes about taking over from Garry Monk, who will be sacked after a run of seven defeats in 11 league games. (Daily Mirror) Alternatively, if Swansea decide to sack Monk, they could turn to former manager Brendan Rodgers, who has been out of work since his October departure from Liverpool. (Sun) The Reds Devils are planning a £50million swoop for Tottenham striker Harry Kane in the summer transfer window. (Daily Star)Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned off any potential interest for Hugo Lloris, insisting the goalkeeper is key to the future of the club. (Daily Express) ?Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires has called for the Gunners to sign Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama, who he believes is “world-class material”. (Evening Standard)Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot, 20, has requested a loan move away from Paris Saint-Germain as he struggles to get game time at the Ligue 1 leaders. (L’Equipe) And here are the top talkSPORT.com headlines…Manchester United transfer news: Latest on Ibrahimovic, Cavani and Oxford rumoursRemi Garde reveals Jack Grealish will return to Aston Villa first-team training this weekSanti Cazorla undergoes knee surgery and could be facing four-month layoffJurgen Klopp accepts Newcastle fully ‘deserved’ victory over disappointing Liverpool side‘The responsibility for the bad moment is mine’ – Jose Mourinho concedes top four may now be beyond ChelseaJoe Hart refuses to blame Vincent Kompany’s absence for Manchester City’s shock defeat to StokeHugo Lloris demands Tottenham improvement after ‘tough’ West Brom drawChris Smalling admits Manchester United are ‘just as frustrated as the fans’ following dreary West Ham drawVideo: Franck Ribery scores but Bayern Munich’s unbeaten Bundesliga record left in tatters
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I can open my mouth and eat. I feel my lips, my nose and my mouth” – and she said she still can smoke. Dinoire has only a faint scar around her nose, mouth and chin where surgeons stitched on a mask of tissue from the donor in a 15-hour surgery in Amiens on Nov. 27, repairing a gaping hole from a dog mauling. Up close, it looks as though someone placed an oval-shape anti-dust mask around her nose and mouth and traced a pencil line. A few feet away, the scar is invisible. Before, Dinoire’s lipless gums and teeth were permanently exposed, and most of her nose was missing. She wore a surgical mask in public to avoid frightening people. “Since the day of my operation, I have a face like everyone else,” Dinoire said. She thanked the family of the donor, whose heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys were distributed to other patients. “Despite their pain and mourning, they accepted to give a second life to people in need,” Dinoire said. “Thanks to them, a door to the future is opening for me and others.” She said she was eager to return home and find a job. “I want to have a normal life again,” she said. Dinoire spoke frankly about the attack in May by her pet Labrador, which left her disfigured. She said she was wrestling with personal problems, had had a trying week, and “took some drugs to forget,” which knocked her out. “When I woke up, I tried to light a cigarette, and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hold it between my lips,” she said. “That’s when I saw the pool of blood and the dog next to me. I looked at myself in the mirror, and there, horrified, I couldn’t believe what I saw – especially because it didn’t hurt. Ever since this day, my life has changed.” She also explained the difficulties of life with disfigurement, saying she drew stares when she went out. “I understand all people who have a handicap,” she said. Dinoire’s doctors said they have asked French health authorities for permission for five more similar transplants. Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard said they wanted “to give this operation to many other people in France and in the world.” In terms of coloring, the match between Dinoire’s own skin and the graft was remarkable, though she also wore makeup. Her doctors said that, with time, her ability to pronounce letters like “b” and “p” will improve. Doctors showed slides of her progress, her scar growing fainter each week. Though the donor’s nose had been bruised during efforts to revive her, the mark quickly healed after the tissue was transplanted, a sign the graft was successful. Dinoire said she “accepted immediately” when her surgeons suggested the transplant. But the procedure has been unable to restore the way she once looked. “There’s no comparison between the face I have today and the face I had seven months ago; it is totally different,” she said. Her surgeons – who have been criticized for going ahead with a radical, untested procedure without trying traditional reconstruction first – defended their decision and said they repeatedly warned Dinoire about the risks. Dubernard said he hopes Dinoire will break her smoking habit, as it can lead to complications. “In hiding, she smokes cigarette after cigarette,” he said. But he also showed understanding. “Put yourself in her place for a second,” he said. “It’s extraordinarily stressful.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AMIENS, France – She spoke resolutely and with pride about her newly transplanted features, although she struggled to pronounce her “b’s” and “p’s.” She drank from a plastic cup – showing that the mouth that once belonged to someone else works just fine. Most of all, Isabelle Dinoire demonstrated remarkable poise as she endured a battery of questions – Do you feel any pain? What do your teenage daughters think? – at her first news conference since she became the world’s first face-transplant recipient. Dinoire’s new face is still largely immobile, and it was hard to tell whether the 38-year-old mother of two was nervous. She smiled more with her eyes than with her lips, which still do not seem to move much, other than slightly up and down. After a while, she appeared to warm to the attention. When Dinoire took a sip of water, the simple gesture sparked a flurry of photographs, and she seemed to hold the pose for a moment.