Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two

D-Will’s new Turkish coach also wants Kobe. Sure, why not?

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And I want to drive a Maserati GranTurismo convertible

Ergin Ataman, the coach of the Turkish team Besiktas in Istanbul that has a deal in principle with Deron Williams in a real coup — one that has to get the clearance of international governing body FIBA still — plus has reached terms with  Zaza Pachulia is now just getting greedy.

The coach whose 19-11 team finished sixth in the Turkish League last year told our man Howard Beck of the New York Times he’d also like to sign Kobe Bryant. Again, back to me and the Maserati, but that’s what he said.

“If there’s a possibility, we’ll talk with Kobe if he’d like to play in Europe with Deron and with other guys to play we can talk with him,” Ataman said. “If Kobe would like to play with us, we will also contact his agent and maybe with him.”

Yea, right. I hear Kobe wants Mickael Pietrus to play with him in Turkey…

Getting D-Will is a great signing by Besiktas, great public relations move even if he never steps on the court for them. And he may not — their first game is Sept. 27 and if there is going to be a full NBA season the lockout needs to be ended and a new NBA labor deal struck right about then.

Besiktas is a team that also missed payroll at a point last season and the players went on strike. Make sure you can make the Williams thing work and stop dreaming about Kobe… he’s doing a barnstorming tour of China anyway.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.