Bulls Sign Former Lakers Forward Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Alfonso McKinnie Lakers

Getty Former Lakers guard Alfonso McKinnie has signed with the Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls are signing a former Los Angeles Lakers veteran.

Due to their mounting COVID-19 outbreak, the Bulls are signing former Lakers and Golden State Warriors forward Alfonso McKinnie to a 10-day contract, via the hardship exception. The 29-year-old played last season for the Lakers, making 39 appearances while averaging 3.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per game.

McKinnie had played for NBA G League’s Mexico City Capitanes this season, averaging 24.1 points per game and shooting 43.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Bulls also signed Stanley Johnson on Thursday, December 9, who had been playing in the Lakers’ G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

The Bulls’ roster has been decimated due to COVID-19 protocols, with Derrick Jones Jr. being the most recent player to be sidelined due to the outbreak. That’s in addition to DeMar DeRozan, Javonte Green, Matt Thomas and Coby White being sidelined.

In addition to his time spent with the Lakers, the 6-foot-7 forward has also had stints with the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. His best year came in 2018-19 when he appeared in a career-high 72 games and averaged 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game while helping the Warriors advance to the NBA Finals.

McKinnie was waived in August by the Lakers with two non-guaranteed years left on his contract.

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Westbrook’s NSFW Message to Lakers Following Latest Loss

If you thought the Lakers would take advantage of a Memphis Grizzlies squad missing two of their best players, you were wrong.

In the latest low of a season of lows for the Lakers, Los Angeles fell by a score of 108-95 to the Grizzlies. For perspective, Memphis was missing Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks from their lineup.

The Lakers failed to capitalize and carry over their momentum from a 117-102 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

Needless to say, Russell Westbrook — who struggled in the game himself with just nine points on 3-of-9 shooting a game-low minus-16 plus/minus rating — had an NSFW message for the Lakers following the loss.

“We know what we’re supposed to do,” Westbrook said after the Lakers dropped to 13-13 on the season. “We know when we’re supposed to take and win games, regardless of who’s playing. But this is the NBA, and these guys are professional, just as well as us. We gotta do a better job of taking on the challenge, because we know that when everybody’s playing the Los Angeles Lakers, we’re going to get everybody’s best shot. We know that from the start of the year.”

“We understand that, but we gotta be able to own our s***, simple as that,” the Lakers guard concluded.


Lakers Still Mired in Mediocrity Even After LeBron’s Return

Despite now being at full strength with Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the lineup, the Lakers have failed to string together any momentum. They have yet to achieve anything longer than a three-game winning streak and are a collective 4-4 since his return from an abdominal injury on November 19.

James had a blunt assessment for why the Lakers lost to a depleted Grizzlies squad — turnovers.

“Defensively, I thought we were really good. We just turned the ball over,” James said. “When you hold a team to 108 points and 27 of those came off turnovers, the defense was really good. Offensively, we were not good at all.”

The Lakers will try to get back on a winning note when they play the 8-16 Oklahoma City Thunder on a Friday night — a team that they’ve already lost to twice this season.

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