The Lakers are down are down, and people are lining up to kick them. After three straight trips to the finals and two titles, the Los Angeles was unceremoniously swept out of the playoffs in the second round by Dallas. Then the Lakers lost their coach, who was a bigger star than most of the players. There are questions about if they can bounce back.
That’s when Dallas’ backup center Ian Mahinmi decided to kick Kobe Bryant while he was down.
Mahinmi called Kobe the league’s most arrogant player in an interview with French NBA site BasketUSA (via the Express-News Spurs Blog and Hoopshype).
“Kobe is super arrogant but everybody loves him,” Mahinmi said. “To me, Kobe is more arrogant (than LeBron James).”
Kobe lives for that kind of fuel, we’ll see if he takes it out Mavericks when they play next season (and we’ll see if in the quest to prove himself he takes the Lakers out of their offensive flow with his domination of the ball). Most players don’t play well angry, Kobe is one of the exceptions. Next season could be interesting out west.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.