Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant tells Pau Gasol how to play without him


The Lakers have struggled to get the most from Pau Gasol this season, so, as is often the case when the Lakers struggle, Kobe Bryant took matters into his own hands. Case in point, Kobe’s conversation with Gasol during last night’s game against the Hornets. Via Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times:

“I basically told him, dude, especially when I’m not in the game, you just gotta go to the block and not move,” Bryant recalled. “When I’m out there, I can slow the game down, call plays off, and just give it to him — but if I’m not, then listen, you just gotta go to the block and not move. Just stand there.”

Gasol reluctantly followed Bryant’s advice.

“That’s not my personality,” Gasol said. “I like my team and my coaching staff to want me to be there instead of positioning myself there. But hey, it is what it is.”

This story jives with everything we know about Kobe: He’s often pushy, and he’s usually right.

In the seven minutes he played without Kobe, Gasol shot 2-for-2, making both baskets in post-up situations.

Gilbert Arenas: Caron Butler’s version of gun incident ‘false’

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Caron Butler recently detailed the Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton gun incident.

In a since-deleted – but screenshot-captured – Instagram post, Arenas gives his description:

The biggest differences between Butler’s and Arenas’ versions:

1. Arenas claims he wasn’t the one who owed Crittenton money, that the feud escalated over Arenas prematurely showing his hand during a card game.

2. Arenas says he told Crittenton to pick a gun to shoot Arenas with – not to pick a gun he’d get shot by Arenas with.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.