Kobe Bryant, Gerald Wallace, Deron Williams

Gerald Wallace tried to get Kobe to shoot a free throw with his eyes closed


Gerald Wallace is becoming my hero. And he had the right idea — if you’re going to get to Kobe Bryant, you appeal to his ego.

Wallace is a talker and the Nets forward was jawing at Kobe near the end of the Lakers win over the Nets Tuesday night. Twice in the final 17 seconds of the game Kobe was at the free throw line and the Nets needed a miss or two to make things easier. Wallace was talking — and he went after Kobe’s ego and competitiveness.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“I was trying to get him to close his eyes to shoot.”

Now remember, Michael Jordan is famous for hitting a free throw with his eyes closed, and we all know how much Bryant wants to be like Mike. So maybe there was a chance Bryant would play along.

Turns out he would’ve – for a steep price.

“I had to make a big bet,” Wallace said. “So I told him just shoot the free throws.”

Our own D.J. Foster thought Kobe mouthed “500” which could have meant $500,000. Classic Kobe. Just make it too rich for anyone else’s blood because outside Kevin Garnett and LeBron James, who has Kobe money to throw around?

But I come out of this loving Gerald Wallace even more. He is my hero now.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.