Look, it’s Kobe Bryant — he deals with injuries like Monty Python’s Black Knight (’tis just a flesh wound). But even he can be felled or at least slowed by illness.
Kobe did not take part in the Lakers’ shootaround in Denver on Thursday and might not play in a crucial Game 6 because of gastroenteritis, the team announced. Bryant is a game-time decision and will be re-evaluated by the team medical staff after a day of rest and treatment.
Gastroenteritis is what you or I would call a stomach virus or stomach flu (even though it’s not actually related to the flu virus). We’ve all been there — vomiting, diarrhea, the inability to keep food down and feeling very tired. All of which are not conducive to good basketball.
Kobe is averaging 31.2 points a game this series along with 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Without him the Lakers lack a real threat on the perimeter and Denver would do more of what it did last game — collapse in the paint, double-team Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and dare anyone else on the Lakers to beat them. The Lakers were already going to need their role players to step up in this game. If Kobe cannot go or is slowed that need grows exponentially.
Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid has a certain sense of humor, one that has embraced former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie’s motto of “Trust the Process” as a kind of personal mantra and brand.
Embiid has apparently taken it a step further, showing off custom sneakers on Snapchat of his “Trust the Process” shoes.
You read that right.
The inside tongue of a pair of kicks Embiid was rocking on Saturday read in all lowercase letters the phrase we now associate with the Cameroonian center.
Embiid famously dubbed himself “The Process” and even filed for a trademark on the language in order to sell merchandise no doubt to be with us shortly.
Keep it coming, Joel. Absolutely each and every one of these are great.
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is one of the best basketball players ever, and on Friday night he passed Elvin Hayes for 9th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Now, LeBron has accomplished a feat that is all his own.
During a game against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, James became the first player to log 27,000 points, 7,000 rebounds, and 7,000 assists.
Being alone in those categories is incredibly special, and is a marker to how James has played his entire career as a revolutionary point forward.
James is not only 9th in scoring, but 16th in assists. Statistical averages suggest he will end the season somewhere around 12th all-time in passing.
Timofey Mozgov is not an MVP candidate, but that didn’t stop one fan from starting a chant while the Los Angeles Lakers C was at the free-throw line on Friday night against the Phoenix Suns.
May I just say this: Bless this fan.
As Mozgov went to the line midway through the first quarter, someone within earshot of ESPN’s parabolic microphones started a chant for the Russian big man.
It was quiet during Mozgov’s first free throw, but during the second more fans at Staples joined in to the point where it was impossible to ignore it.
This is what having a fun at a basketball game looks like. Too good.
Cleveland Cavaliers veteran Richard Jefferson has a legendary Snapchat account, and I think it just got even better.
During a video posted to Jefferson’s account on Saturday, viewers were able to see a point-of-view account of what it’s like to be an NBA player practicing 3-pointers and dunking down lob passes.
Thanks to a pair of Snapchat Spectacles — a video camera in a set of glasses and paired with the social application — Jefferson gave us a taste of what it’s like to be an NBA player, if only for a moment.
I think it’s pretty cool to see from his perspective. Thanks to the evolution of wearable technology and 3D viewing equipment this is probably just a very small preview of what our viewing experience for the NBA is going to be like in 10-15 years.