Kobe Bryant And Phil Jackson Address The Media

It is now official, Lamar Odom a Maverick


UPDATE 8:25 pm: It is now official, the Lakers have traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a first round pick (restricted, starting top 20 this year) and a second rounder.

Dallas fits him in using the salary exception from the Tyson Chandler trade. The Lakers get their own $8.9 million trade exception to try and lure in some front line help.

And Khloe is sobbing quietly in the corner.


It came up last night at the moment the Lakers pulled out of the Chris Paul traded, but it something we should not just gloss over.

Lamar Odom will very soon be a member of the Dallas Mavericks, traded from the Lakers for a first-round pick — top 20 protected this season and with some protections all the way to 2017 — and an $8.9 million trade exception.

Odom was unhappy after his name came up in the Paul deal and did not practice with the Lakers the last two days.

It makes for an interesting season for Dallas, but this is a savvy pickup. Very Mark Cuban move in it being opportunistic. True, they have a versatile power forward in the form of one Dirk Nowitzki, but they just added the NBA’s reigning sixth man of the year while really giving up nothing. Odom is as versatile a player as there is in the league, he can be a point forward, play in the post, start or come off the bench. There are roles for him.

This year’s Mavericks will look a lot different than the team that won the title, but they will be interesting and with some serious weapons.

For the Lakers, this looks like a salary dump, but one that gives then a large trade exception to bring in another key piece later. You have to think GM Mitch Kupchak has a plan (whether Jim Buss has a plan is still up for debate).

Kobe Bryant said at practice that he didn’t like the trade. He added he didn’t expect Mark Cuban to protest this one.

This move doesn’t help them get Dwight Howard, the trade exception is not large enough to take Hedo Turkoglu’s contract back. That is the price of entry to the Howard sweepstakes — you have to take Turkoglu’s three years, $32.8 million on. To make that work the Lakers have to trade out Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol… which leaves the Lakers with a pretty depleted front line even if they get Howard. They would need depth.

While the league has not yet signed off on this, know that the deal is all but done.

So enjoy this season of Khloe & Lamar in Dallas.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott
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Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.