Pau Gasol Kobe Bryant

When Pau Gasol returns he will start, D’Antoni said


Pau Gasol has been out more than a week with a concussion. Kobe Bryant is a little frustrated with him for showing up to practices and games, wants Gasol to sit at home in a dark room and recover. Instead Gasol has been on the bench cheering teammates.

That includes the last two games, when the Lakers seem to have found a groove with Dwight Howard looking far more healthy and active, the defense improving and the Lakers picking up easy wins. Wins that came with Earl Clark starting in Gasol’s spot and adding some needed athleticism and energy.

But when Gasol is healthy he starts again Mike D’Antoni said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Gasol won’t come off the bench when he returns, Coach Mike D’Antoni said Tuesday.

“That would be tough,” D’Antoni said, adding, “That’s not my intention right now.”

Gasol is going to come up in a lot of trade rumors over the next five weeks as we move toward the trade deadline and the Lakers are going to have a decision to make. That decision will depend a lot on the offers that come in — a 32-year-old who missed 8 games with knee tendonitis and whose numbers are down is not at the peak of his trade value. Teams are going to lowball what they see as a Lakers team desperate to move Gasol.

But the Lakers aren’t going to give him away and they are not going to take on a contract that messes with their plan for cap space in 2014. All of which makes putting a deal together all the more difficult.

So for now D’Antoni has to figure out how to use Gasol and make him fit. And where he fits at first is as a starter.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

Leave a comment

Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.