Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant

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


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.

Warriors first team favored over the field for championship entering season since Michael Jordan’s Bulls

7 Jun 1998:  Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls walks on the court during the NBA Finals Game 3 against the Utah Jazz at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  The Bulls defeated the Jazz 96-54. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
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When asked my prediction for the 2017 NBA champion, I say the Warriors have about a 50-50 chance. Some call that a copout answer – but it’s really not.

For a team to have even odds against 29 others combined entering the season is extraordinary.

Just how rare is it?

David Purdum of ESPN:

Jeff Sherman, head NBA oddsmaker at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, remembers the 1997-98 Bulls team, which was coming off a 72-win season, being around a minus-125 title favorite entering that season.

But Sherman and other sports betting industry veterans struggled to recall another team — in basketball, baseball or football — that was an odds-on favorite to start the season.

Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen led Chicago to the championship in 1998 (which was actually two seasons removed from the 72-win year).

Will Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson also meet their oversized expectations and deliver a title this year?

Flip a coin.

Report: Minnesota still talking Tyus Jones trade, Sixers may have interest

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 08:  Tyus Jones #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves poses for a portrait during the 2015 NBA rookie photo shoot on August 8, 2015 at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York. 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 Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Tyus Jones has a lot to like — he’s a point guard who makes good decisions, his shot is developing (40 percent from three at Summer League), and he’s got skills. Minnesota won the Summer League championship because of Jones’ leadership — just drafted and highly touted Kris Dunn was out for the title game, that’s where Jones shined.

But Dunn is the future at the point in Minnesota, and Ricky Rubio is still there. So Minnesota is seeing what might be out there for Jones, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Minnesota has had talks with Philadelphia, New Orleans, and others about Jones for a while.

Jones is likely a steady backup point guard at the NBA level — he’s a smart passer, knows how to run a team, and as his shot develops he becomes more dangerous. His downside is defense, but as a reserve that’s less of an issue.

For a team like the Sixers — without Jerryd Bayless to start the season — or while New Orleans waits for Jrue Holiday‘s return, Jones makes some sense. The only question is the price going back to Minnesota.

Report: Bucks preparing for Greg Monroe to opt in next summer

Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe, center, drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca, left, and guard Tyreke Evans, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman
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The Bucks got a rude awakening about Greg Monroe‘s value when they tried to sell low on him this offseason – and still got no takers.

Now, Milwaukee seems to have gotten the picture. Monroe – whose agent claimed the center could name his contract terms from multiple teams last year – might opt into the final year of his deal, which would pay $17,884,176.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Milwaukee is already preparing for the possibility Monroe opts into his deal for 2017-18, league sources say.

The Bucks indicated this thinking when they extended Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s contract, putting a large 2017-18 salary rather than a relatively low cap hold on the books to begin next offseason. If Monroe opts in, the difference in Antetokounmpo’s initial cap number is far less likely to matter. (Though Antetokounmpo’s extension wasn’t a complete giveaway into Milwaukee’s Monroe expectation, because the Bucks saved over the life of the extension.)

Don’t put it past Monroe to opt out if he believes he can find a better situation. After all, he signed the small qualifying offer to leave a tough basketball fit with Andre Drummond in Detroit. Monroe also took the risk of a shorter detail in Milwaukee. He’s secure enough in himself to at least consider moving on if he’s unhappy.

It’s also possible he finds a satisfying role with the Bucks. They’ll bring him off the bench, which could hide his defensive shortcomings and give him a chance to mash backup bigs. Heck, he could even play well enough to justify opting out.

There’s still a full season before Monroe must decide on his option, and a lot can change by then. But it seems Milwaukee now has a realistic expectation.

Report: NBA increases 2017-18 salary-cap projection to $103 million

AP Money Found

The NBA is reportedly closing in on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the new deal will still call for owners and players to split Basketball Related Income about 50-50.

So, July’s projection of a $102 million salary cap in 2017-18 still carries weight – except it’s been updated.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Why the change?

Perhaps, the shortfall adjustment – which increases the cap when teams don’t spend enough the previous year – is being revised in the new CBA.

More likely, the league anticipates more revenue. These projections tend to start conservative then rise as July nears.