In case you were holding out any hope that in 11 days Kobe Bryant would be suited up and ready to play in the season opener when the Lakers host the Los Angeles Clippers, we bring you this note from Mike Trudell, the official Lakers.com reporter traveling with the team.
When Mike D’Antoni said the other day it was unlikely Kobe would be ready for opening day that should have been a sign.
Kobe is diligently working on his rehab, he’s making progress, but as we’ve noted from the day this happened Achilles injuries are not something you can just play through or push through in the same way as other injuries. It is more like a hamstring injury, where you have to be careful during rehab about setbacks and wait until it is fully healed before taking the next steps. It’s an exercise in patience.
Kobe will be back at some point early in the season, it’s just hard to picture that being opening night if he can’t yet fully push off on that leg. When he returns we’ll see how he performs and how long it takes to shake the rust off. This is a Lakers team that can’t afford to fall in a big hole early if the goal remains the playoffs.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.