Judge sets June trial for Kobe, his mom, to argue about stuff he left in his room

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UPDATE 2:52 pm: So we get to hear about this for another month. Lucky us.

Tuesday a judge set a June 17 trial date for deciding whether Kobe Bryant’s mother can auction off some Kobe memorabilia in her possession. The judge also the two sides to sit down and try to come to an agreement before the trial and not waste the court’s time (well, too late for that, I guess). While it is Kobe and his mother that have the disagreement, the lawyers on that side work for the auction house, Goldin Auctions, which of course stand to make a nice profit off of this auction. If it goes forward.

11:02 am: This entire thing is just sad. But here we are.

The attorneys representing Kobe Bryant, and the other ones representing his mother, head to court on Tuesday to let a judge decide if an auction house can sell off some Bryant memorabilia in the possession of his mother. There are more than 100 items his mother would like to auction, including a Lower Merion game-worn high school jersey and a replica 2000 Lakers championship ring.

This is like the argument you had with your mother when you left stuff at her house, except that she just donated or threw out your stuff because it wasn’t worth crap. Kobe’s mom got a $450,000 advance from the auction company (which she used to put a down payment on a house).

Kobe’s argument is simple — it’s my stuff. She can’t sell my stuff. He and his wife said they had asked for the stuff back years ago. He said there was a May 2 phone conversation where he told his mom not to sell the stuff and she agreed. There is a lot more legal jargon and it took high-priced attorneys hours to put together, but that pretty much sums up his claim.

Kobe’s mother, Pamela, and father, Joe, filed papers in court saying Kobe lied to them, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

“This conversation never occurred and I never made that statement,” Pamela Bryant said. She added Kobe “never demanded the return of any of the items, nor were they in any way improperly taken from him without his permission.”

“My son gave my wife these items over the years, stating, ‘Here mom, these are for you,’ ” Joe said. He said he advised Kobe to “set up a room in his California house to display the items.” But Joe said Kobe “declined to do so.”

And here we are.

The Bryant family relationship is so strained attorneys need to sort it out in court a couple days after Mother’s Day. That’s sad.

Magic Johnson: “The only player that we… would probably not move is Brandon Ingram”

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The Lakers’ Brandon Ingram had flashes, but he largely struggled through his rookie season. He averaged 9.4 points per game, shot 40 percent from the floor, he had a true shooting percentage of 47.4 and a PER of 8.5, and he finished with the fifth worst “value over replacement player” number in the NBA. Watch him play, and he looked better than those numbers — he did better with the “eye test” — showing some tenacity, and his offense improved toward the end of the season. Still, his rookie season tempered expectations somewhat.

Except amongst the Lakers’ front office.

They have been high on him all the way through, higher than D'Angelo Russell, and that’s what Lakers president Magic Johnson said on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles.

“I would say probably the only player that we would say, hey, we would probably not move is Brandon Ingram,” Johnson, the Lakers president of basketball operations said Thursday in a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles. “I think that we’re excited about Brandon, his length, his size, his agility, his athleticism. And then when you think about, you know, he was a baby coming in, in his first year last season and we see that he really has a high ceiling and we’re excited about what he can possibly turn into.”

First off, no this doesn’t mean if the Lakers draft Lonzo Ball No. 2 (as expected) they will look to trade Russell. Expect them to see if those two can play together. It means the Lakers think just one of the guys on the roster is a potential key piece of a contender. Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and on down the line may fit into the rotation, but they are not seen as cornerstone pieces that can’t be moved.

Is Ingram really a cornerstone? The jury is still out, but does anyone feel as confident he will be a star as they did a season ago when he was drafted?

Ingram certainly needs to get stronger, something the team and he have worked on (and will focus on this summer). He also was young coming into the league, and with his style of game it was going to take him a little time to find how he fit in the NBA. He wasn’t going to come in and just overwhelm opponents with athleticism, it was going to be a process for him. Like nearly every rookie, his shooting needs to be more consistent.

The questions are how high is his ceiling, and can the Lakers develop him?

This summer and into next season those will come into focus more, but the early returns don’t have some of us as optimistic as Magic.

Josh McRoberts opting into final year of Heat contract

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Heat power forward Josh McRoberts has missed 165 games over the last three years due to injury.

So, the 30-year-old sure isn’t turning down a guaranteed $6,021,175 salary.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

Any long shot chance of Josh McRoberts voiding his Heat contract was eliminated Tuesday when agent Mike Conley told The Miami Herald that McRoberts will exercise his opt-in and return to the Heat for $6.021 million next season.

Miami will have major cap space this summer with Chris Bosh coming off the books. At this point, McRoberts’ salary is just an impediment to even more room to add an impact player.

The Heat could again try trading McRoberts, but they’ll likely have to attach a positive asset just to dump him. They could also waive and stretch him.

But if his salary doesn’t come between Miami and a big-time free agent this summer, perhaps McRoberts returns for one last chance at helping the Heat on the floor with his passing and outside shooting.

Mike Brown thinks it’s “cute” Tyronn Lue thinks Celtics’ sets harder to defend than Warriors

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Celtics’ coach Brad Steven is already one of the best in the NBA. His out of time out plays are brilliant, and his Boston team’s flow of ball and player movement is among the best in the league.

It’s those things that were giving the Cavaliers trouble in the first half of Game 4 Tuesday, and ultimately prompted this comment from Tyronn Lue.

“We’re just focused on Boston. The stuff they’re running, it’s harder to defend than Golden State’s [offense] for me.”

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle asked Mike Brown about that.

You can certainly make the case that the Celtics have a wider variety in their offense, and that with Isaiah Thomas out the rather balanced, anyone can score nature of the Celtics is challenging to defend for a team with inconsistent help defense like the Cavaliers.

But Boston is running these sets with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown and Kelly Olynyk. Golden State will use ball and player movement to create space for Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Which is to say, Golden State is tougher to defend because the space they need to make you pay is much smaller. And even if you do everything right the Warriors may just score anyway.

I get what Lue was trying to say, but don’t give the Warriors more motivation.

Magic sending Raptors draft pick as compensation for hiring Jeff Weltman

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The Raptors promoted Jeff Weltman, still working under Masai Ujiri, to general manager last year.

That paid off for Toronto when the Magic hired Weltman as their new president.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Magic have their own and the Lakers’ second-round picks next year. Even the lower of those two selections could be somewhat valuable.

In other words, Weltman’s already-difficult job is getting even harder simply by Orlando hiring him.