With Bryant sitting in eight of the past 15 games to rest his 36-year-old body, Ellington has started in his place. Ellington has averaged 10.4 points on 41.2 percent shooting in 28.6 minutes as a starter. “A lot of guys get in different situations where they know they’re starting and they think, ‘I have to go crazy.’ That’s where they mess up,” Ellington said. “I just try to still play my game. Whatever looks I get, I get. I try to be a little more aggressive obviously. At the same time, I stay within myself.”Lakers coach Byron Scott credited Ellington for acting like a “true professional” for how he has handled a fluctuating role while playing with his fifth NBA team in the past six seasons. “Wayne plays hard on both ends,” Scott said. “He’s going to guard people to the best of his ability and when he has open shots, he’s going to take them. He doesn’t force a whole lot of things. He runs through the offense and everything with hard cuts. He does all the little things you had to do. When I have him in there, I’m pretty comfortable.” The Lakers will severely miss Bryant should he sit out for an extended period of time, let alone the rest of the season. But Scott will hardly hesitate in selecting Ellington to fill Bryant’s spot. Ellington still played solid as a reserve alongside Bryant, averaging 6.4 points on 47.3 percent shooting in 16.4 minutes per game. SAN ANTONIO — Only a day passed by, and Lakers reserve guard Wayne Ellington still kept shaking his head.He still had trouble processing Lakers star Kobe Bryant trying to play through a sore right shoulder in Wednesday’s loss in New Orleans.“He was rebounding with one hand and shooting with one hand,” Ellington said. “That’s such a crazy thing to see.”Ellington spoke those words before the Lakers announced an MRI exam that showed Bryant has a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, an injury that will keep him out when the Lakers (12-31) visit the San Antonio Spurs (27-16) on Friday at AT&T Center. With team doctors scheduled to reevaluate Bryant on Friday, Ellington will likely have a long-term significant role. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “He’s a demanding player. So when you’re out there with him, you’re thinking, I’m out there with Kobe; I have to make sure I get him the ball,’” Ellington said. “But that can hurt the team if you allow everyone to key in on Kobe and everybody else stops playing. That’s not good for us.”Injury updateScott said it’s “50-50” as for whether reserve forward Tarik Black will play in Friday’s game against San Antonio. Black participated in Thursday’s practice after missing Wednesday’s game against New Orleans because of a sprained right ankle. But Scott described Black as looking “very gingerly” in Thursday’s practice. “If he doesn’t move any better than what I saw today,” Scott said, “then I’m pretty sure he won’t play.”
Sometimes it takes a village – at least that’s the approach Van Nuys residents are taking to deal with the long-standing issue of prostitution in their neighborhood. Joining forces with the City Council and the Los Angeles Police Department, residents are picking up signs, flashlights and cameras to participate in monthly marches through the streets of their neighborhood. They begin after dark and walk the streets until midnight. The idea is to send a message to streetwalkers and their johns. “Families in this neighborhood are fed up with this issue,” said Ron Hay, a Van Nuys resident for 10 years. Usually the women work a circuit, and the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor ranks among the top three locations in Southern California, police said. “Unfortunately, this has been going on for decades,” C rdenas said. “As a community, we feel compelled and obligated to do whatever we can to reduce this problem. Children in these neighborhoods should not have to look at the evidence of this problem on their walk to school every morning. They shouldn’t have to deal with that.” Residents are encouraged to bring still and video cameras to the marches, too. “This is the safest way let them know we are looking at them, we are watching them and we are recording them,” C rdenas said. “We can let them know they are not supposed to be doing that in our neighborhood.” The walks seem to be leading to results. Although authorities couldn’t provide specific numbers, Sgt. McNeill Gardner said he has seen a “significant drop in street prostitution.” “The women have seen the community’s involvement and they have started to shy away from the area,” said Gardner, who patrols the Van Nuys-North Hills area. With officers already stretched thin, he said it is a community program like this that can make a difference. “Law enforcement is 50percent police and 50percent community,” he said. “There is only so much we can do.” Hay said the organized effort has also created some side effects that have led to his neighborhood’s improvement. Extra lighting has been added to some streets, and extra officers have been assigned to key hot spots along the boulevard. For Hay, who is captain of his street’s Neighborhood Watch program and has several officers’ numbers on speed dial, community members need to realize that apathy is not an option. “So many people would rather stay home and ignore what’s going on,” he said. “But people need to become a part of the solution, not part of the problem. If you don’t, your neighborhood goes down the tubes.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Hay said it is not uncommon for hookers to walk by as close as his driveway. “I have heard people screaming in a car having sex in front of my house. I have found condoms in the gutter,” he said. “It is just unpleasant.” Officer Ron Carter, who initiated the monthly marches, said the idea is to get those most affected involved in getting rid of the problem. “Community policing – that is where it all begins,” Carter said, adding that his vice officers regularly organize stings and undercover operations. Councilman Tony C rdenas, who helped put together the task force that launched the monthly marches, said as soon as he was elected, he heard from the community about the prostitution.