Yao Ming will start against Lakers, just as David Stern had planned


The Lakers will hang another banner up at Staples Center and get some gaudy rings.

But that’s not the only big storyline Tuesday night in Los Angeles — Yao Ming will be back on the court.

Rockets coach Rick Adelman had a decision to make: He isn’t going to play Yao on both ends of a back-to-back, so does he play him against the Lakers Tuesday or against the Warriors Wednesday?

Really wasn’t much of a decision — the league would have pressured the Rockets anyway, Adelman joked with the Chronicle. (via Ben Maller)

“I imagine he’ll play in the Laker game,” Adelman said. “They’ll probably tell us we have to play him anyway. It’s a TNT game.

“I think it’s probably better to have him play that game, and then we’ll go from there.”

You could make an argument that Yao’s size would have been a bigger advantage in the Bay Area Wednesday, but Tuesday against the Bynum-less Lakers it is. NBA globalization on display, just as David Stern would have wanted.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.