Kobe Bryant is a scorer. Which is why getting Chris Paul — a playmaker who sets others up as well as anyone in the game — made a lot of sense to Kobe. It made less sense to David Stern (and other NBA owners) and so that trade got shot down.
Wednesday Kobe was talking trades — he said he expects the Lakers management will try to do something but refused to speculate on what — when reporters asked him who would be his ideal teammate of current players. Kobe went another direction than the Dwight Howard response most might have suggested. From ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“It’s a tough question because I’ve played with a lot of great players being on the Olympic team,” Bryant said. “I think that the player I would probably play with the most where the pieces would fit would be myself and LeBron [James], believe it or not, because he’s more of a facilitator and I’m more of a scorer. … He’s a modern version of what Oscar [Robertson] was. He just puts up genius numbers.”
It would be interesting to see how LeBron’s “I want the game to be fun” mentality would blend with Kobe’s drive and demeanor. And by interesting I mean like sitting around waiting for the volcano to erupt, covering Los Angeles in ash as if it were Pompeii.
But on the court, it could really work. Kobe’s right. Well, as long as Kobe would trust LeBron more than he seems to trust Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol late in games.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. However, those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and the team’s playoff chances have taken a serious hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers).
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and had said planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).