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Nike Basketball debuts ‘Count on Kobe’ spot (VIDEO)

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Nike Basketball dropped the first spot in their ad campaign to support Kobe Bryant and his latest signature shoe, the Kobe 8 SYSTEM. Reminding you that Bryant is relentless in his quest to be the best, the video essentially reminds us that like death and taxes, you can count on Kobe.

From the official release:

“Some things in this world are certainties. The sun will rise. Rain will fall. And Kobe Bryant will dominate on the basketball court.

“That’s the premise behind “Count on Kobe,” Nike Basketball’s new film debuting this month. The film features visually arresting images juxtaposed with footage of Bryant to demonstrate the unparalleled drive, skill and commitment of one of the hardest-working and most-dedicated players of all time.”

“I start every day with the desire to be the best, and I’m committed to doing what it takes to win and to being fearless on the court,” Bryant said. “I want to be the player my teammates and fans can count on day in and day out.”

“The images from the film highlight not only Bryant’s skill on the court but the many aspects of his world of basketball – from his training to his game-day preparation to his footwear. We see images of his practice regimen, the energy-giving food he eats before a game, and the KOBE 8 SYSTEM – his lightest and lowest performance shoe to date.

“The underlying message is this: After 17 years in the league, Bryant’s drive to dominate and constantly improve his game is part of the world’s natural order. This is the way it was. This is the way it is. This is the way it will be. Count on Kobe.”

Good stuff as always when it comes to featuring one of the game’s biggest names. Check out the clip above, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.