Former Reggae Boy, Walter ‘Blacker’ Boyd, rolled back the years at the National Stadium last Friday night with a vintage display for the Jamaica All-Stars team, as they clipped a the Brazil All-Stars XI 2-1 at the ‘Share The Love’ exhibition match.The game was a lacklustre affair before Boyd entered the field of play just past the hour mark.It took a while for him to find his feet, but the moment he got going, the game came to life. In the 76th minute, he collected a pass on the right and burst past his marker towards the 18-yard box. He then turned another two defenders inside out before being fouled just outside the box. With the game tied at 1-1, Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner found the net with a quickly taken free kick. Gregory Simmonds had earlier given the Jamaica All-Stars a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot in the first half, before Correa Motta de Freitas equalised for the Brazilians.After the go-ahead goal, Boyd had the crowd on its feet just like the good old days when spectators crammed into ‘The Office’ to see the mercurial forward.After the match, fans flocked the former Reggae Boy for photos and he was really appreciative of the reception and proud he could return the favour by providing the fans with entertainment.UNDYING LOVE”Sometimes you think that those (glory) days are over and gone and no one might remember, but when I heard the crowd (on entering the field), it brought me to an understanding like it is never going to end. It’s just an undying love and I really appreciate it, and I tried to give it back through the game and I just hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did,” he said afterwards.Brazil’s Rivaldo, the 1999 World Player of the Year, also provided a touch of class throughout the game, but never really exerted himself.
While Daniels or Watson would have helped, the mission for now is salary-cap flexibility, with the Lakers positioning themselves to be capable of offering a maximum contract starting at as much as $14 million per season as early as summer 2007. And Phil Jackson said Thursday he will support the plan, even if he might not see any benefit during his three years as Lakers coach. That means sacrificing signing players that could help in the short term for the possibility of someday landing a superstar. In their past two exhibition games, the Lakers have gotten a first-hand look at Washington’s Antonio Daniels and Denver’s Earl Watson, two of the top guards that were available on the free-agent market this summer. Both Daniels and Watson signed identical five-year, $29 million contracts, deals the Lakers just as soon could have offered using their midlevel exception. Instead, the Lakers opted to sign veteran guard Aaron McKie for a modest two years and $5 million. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “All those things are a process of trying to put yourself in the best possible space,” Jackson said, “so that when that opportunity shows up, we can really jump to that spot and make that next big move that moves this team back into that higher echelon.” But the Lakers already have seen two marquee players who could have become free agents in 2007 re-sign with their current teams. Both Houston’s Yao Ming and Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire signed maximum extensions in recent weeks. The Lakers probably now have to wait until summer 2008. Jackson admitted the Lakers were restrained in their moves this summer because they wanted to keep open the possibility of making an offer to Yao or Stoudemire. The possibility of coaching Yao, in particular, was said by an insider to interest Jackson. Blown out: The Lakers lost 105-94 to Denver, the same team they will play in the season opener on Nov. 2. They have given up 104.5 points on average through four exhibition games while center Chris Mihm has been called for 17 fouls in only 75 minutes. Mihm picked up his first foul only 40 seconds in Thursday, shoving Denver forward Nene while trying to grab a rebound. He fumbled away a sure basket in the early going and finished with four points and four fouls in 18 minutes. “This was a struggle for him,” Jackson said. “He missed a couple easy shots and I thought it bothered him. He made two nice moves in the lane, did everything but the ball going in the hoop, and I think that affects a player.’ The Lakers were outscored 35-13 with their starters on the floor. Devean George again was a bright spot for the Lakers, hitting four of seven shots and totaling 11 points. George hit jumpers from 21, 20 and 17 feet Thursday. “That was my focus this summer was getting that mid-range game and getting those cracks,” George said, “because I was either a 3-point shooter or trying to drive and dunk. So I kind of wanted to work on that in-between.’ The Lakers will play Charlotte tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Staples Center. Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!