Kobe Bryant

Kobe says it’s “very possible” he plays in Italy. Sure it is.

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Kobe Bryant knows marketing.

He knows that if you’re in Italy promoting Nike and your brand, and there are rumors swirling about offers for you to play in Italy during the lockout, it’s bad marketing to say, “No, no way I’m playing here.” You give people some hope if you want to sell more shoes.

With that context, we bring you Kobe’s quotes to the Associated Press at one of his stops in a Nike-fueled tour through Italy.

Kobe Bryant says it’s “very possible” he’ll play in Italy during the NBA lockout, adding that the country is like home to him since he spent part of his childhood there….

Bryant says, “It would be a dream for me. There’s an opportunity that we’ve been discussing over the last few days. It’s very possible and that’s good news for me.”

I’ll believe it the day he walks on the court wearing a Virtus Bologna black and white uniform. Until then it’s all just talk and marketing.

Kobe’s biggest dream is ring number six, the same number Jordan has. Kobe would risk injury and put more miles on tired knees to play overseas for a sliver of his NBA salary. He’s not going to do it. Not now anyway, if the lockout drags on and things look bleak mid-November, then things change. If a full NBA season is going to be lost all bets are off. And if he does play anywhere overseas, Italy is the best bet.

But I will not believe it until I see it. Until then I’m pretty sick of the game.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

Trevor Booker
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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.