Kobe Bryant said what he meant — Dwight Howard can’t be too nice on the court. He needs to be more like Kobe. An a******.
While Orlando fans would argue Dwight has been one of those for more than a year now, Howard basically said Kobe is right. He’s not offended and he’ll be ready when it matters. From Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLA.com.
“I heard about what he said,” Howard said. “People might take that the wrong way. He’s not saying be a jerk or an a-hole to people, he’s basically saying, ‘On the court. He loves the way I play, but I can be more of one of those people.’ ”
“I think a lot of people get it confused,” Howard said of his personality. “They think I don’t take it serious because I’m smiling or things like that. When it’s time to get it done, I go and get it.”
Kobe and Howard are just different personalities — Kobe is driven and intense, someone who can have fun but compartmentalizes the areas of his life very well. Howard is a bit of a goofball, a guy who likes to have fun on and off the court. He plays with a smile on, Kobe scowls.
There’s no real tension here, just different styles. It’s the kind of ill winning easily cures, and this looks like a season when the Lakers will do a lot of winning.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.