Kobe Bryant injures ankle, may not play Monday vs. Magic

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It has not been a stellar 60 hours for Kobe Bryant. After going into hero mode versus the Heat, chucking up a few clangers and losing, Bryant then put himself through a grueling post-game workout for over an hour in front of the media, which probably made him feel better about himself, but also was probably hard on the body. Then he puts up a 6-20 performance against the Mavs, but at least he got the win. The real problem, though happened in the third quarter. Bryant landed and severely turned his ankle.

There wasn’t any contact upon landing, the ankle just went out from underneath him. He had been battling an ankle injury this season, which had been an issue before the All-Star break. But this? This was pretty bad. Take a look for yourself.

Surely that would keep him out the rest of the game, right? No way. Bryant actually went to the locker room, had it taped, then returned to play, even hitting a tough bank shot from the corner. Granted, Bryant also went hero mode again and missed several step back jumpers and was blocked at one point by Shawn Marion, but you have to applaud the effort.

Post-game, Bryant told reporters that when the injury first occurred, he thought he had dislocated it:

“I thought I was done, like done. I was praying that when I stood up, my foot was lined up straight,” Bryant said. “I thought I dislocated it.”

via Kobe struggles, still leads Lakers past Mavericks – NBA- NBC Sports.

Bryant said he plans on pushing himself like he usually does so that he doesn’t miss Monday’s game against the Magic.

“I’ll just do what I always do: don’t sleep, get treatment around the clock and I should be fine,” Bryant said.

via Kobe Bryant hurts ankle in Los Angeles Lakers’ game against Dallas Mavericks – ESPN Los Angeles.

But he did acknowledge he didn’t know if he would play, which is a change from his usual dismissal of whether he’ll play or not. Phil Jackson was even more skeptical, saying the sprain was pretty severe. Bryant could obviously use the rest, and while ankle injuries simply don’t heal without extensive rest, just a quick recharge of the batteries might be in order for Bryant.

Bryant definitely deserves credit for playing through the injury, showing once again why he has the best work ethic in the NBA. He could have done more to work in the flow of the offense upon coming back, instead of going into ISO mode for step-back J’s on a bad wheel, but considering his past success in such situations, it’s hard to find fault. After all, if they’d gone in, we’d be talking about what a gutsy performance he put on. And in the end, the Lakers got the win with some help from Andrew Bynum.

The fact remains, Bryant is feeling some wear and tear physically as the season progresses.

 

 

 

Here are the 10 best crossovers from this past NBA season

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NBA offenses in 2017 may be highly advanced, but there is always room for a good old crossover.

That’s why we are bringing you 10 of the best crossovers from this past season. Some of the usual suspects — like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook — bless the list.

Take a look at all of the highlight plays above and let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, I expect we will see more players doing be Shammgod next season.

Watch the 10 best dunks from the 2016-17 NBA season

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The 2016 NBA season will be known for the MVP battle between Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Or will it?

It could also be remembered for the Golden State Warriors seeking and achieving their redemption over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals.

No matter what, there are always great dunks to be seen in the NBA on a nightly basis.

Take a look in the video above. Do you agree with No. 1?

Report: LeBron James ‘hustling’, suggested Josh Jackson for Kyrie Irving

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Is LeBron James staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Who knows?

But The King is reportedly working to try to find trade deals for disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving.

According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre, James has begun hustling for the Cavaliers this offseason, suggesting a trade of Irving for Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.

Here is what Torre had to say, via Fear the Sword:

“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”

Then again, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has sources that are saying LeBron has not been active:

Irving has a preferred landing destination in New York, but there is apparently not mutual interest between the Cavaliers and Knicks. While before it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony would like to in Cleveland with LeBron, but that trade has yet to happen despite the obvious answer to the question of what to do with each player.

Rumor has it that Anthony only wants to play in Houston, and sort of puts the brakes on getting Irving to New York.

Cleveland seems to have lost a bit of leverage with Irving’s open trade request, so it will be interesting to see what the return for Cleveland is once a trade is finally made and we can compare it to the deals for Chris Paul and Paul George.

Irving reportedly isn’t talking to the Cavaliers at the moment so one would have to assume a deal will be coming within the next few weeks.

Report: Warriors re-signing JaVale McGee to one-year contract

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The Warriors helped rehabilitate JaVale McGee‘s career to the point he wanted more – more money, a starting spot.

But old reputations die hard, and it’s a tough market for free-agent centers.

So, McGee is returning to Golden State.

ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors are re-signing center JaVale McGee to a one-year contract, source told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

McGee could receive between the minimum ($2,116,955) and Non-Bird Exception ($2,540,346). He’ll cost Golden State between $5,968,023 and $10,511,120.* Here’s guessing he gets the minimum.

*Factoring in the NBA’s reimbursement for one-year minimum contracts and the luxury tax, also assuming the Warriors keep the same roster when the tax is assessed at the end of the regular season

Golden State played to McGee’s strengths by simplifying the game for him. He chased lobs, blocks and rebounds and was asked to do little else. He still made the occasional gaffe, and questions about his basketball intelligence remain, but McGee progressed in his never-ending battle to stifle the laughter.

Not every team could protect McGee like that, so he’s more valuable to the Warriors than others. He’ll take another crack at free agency next summer, but at 30, he might not find eager suitors then, either.

In Golden State, he’ll again join a center rotation that includes Zaza Pachulia and David West and maybe Damian Jones and Jordan Bell. With stars at every other position, the Warriors have taken an equalitarian approach at center.

McGee gives the Warriors 15 players clearly on standard contracts, the regular-season limit. Chris Boucher is on a two-way contract, and Antonius Cleveland might be, too. Even if he’s on a standard contract, Cleveland is unlikely to stick past the preseason. It seems we know the roster Golden State will take into the regular season.

Then again, McGee surprisingly made the regular-season roster on an unguaranteed deal last year. Maybe he’ll have to fend off challengers this year.