2013 Global Games - Shanghai

Kobe Bryant imagines ideal brother, and it’s Pau Gasol


When the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant told the Associated Press, “It’s a matter of us just gelling now and putting it together.”

Since, Kobe and Gasol have spent six seasons together with the Lakers. They’ve won two championships together. They endured last season’s disappointment together.

They have definitely jelled.

Kobe wrote a forward for Pau Gasol’s book, and it’s a little moving. Ramona Shelburne ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Bryant writes that “If I could choose my brother,” it would be Gasol. That “he would have the highest basketball IQ in the league” and “you’d have to search and search and you still would not find another player in the history of the game with his skill set.” That “if his organization ever let him down, he would hold his head up high” and “would not lash out or let himself become entangled in the drama.” That “we would both face adversity in our professions, so we would talk about our lives and our careers and the pressures of our celebrity” and that “our bond would be fortified by a trust only brothers share.”

It is hard to imagine higher praise from Kobe. And his sentiments are echoed by the foreword written by former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who said of Gasol, “he’s a son whom I could adopt very easily and embrace.”

It’s great that Kobe feels so close with Gasol, but I can’t help but wonder what Gasol thinks of Kobe.

I’m sure Gasol likes Kobe. That’s not in dispute. My question is about degree.

Kobe is notoriously reserved from his teammates. Though Kobe called Derek Fisher his all-time favorite teammate, Fisher once said he’d never even been to Kobe’s house.

Though Kobe might be especially close with Gasol relative to other teammates he’s had, I wonder how Gasol would compare the closeness he feels with Kobe to the other relationships in his life. Generally, Kobe’s comments would indicate a relationship Gasol also finds extremely close, but with Kobe’s reputation, that’s not necessarily the case.

To be clear, I’m not denigrating Kobe. I respect his desire to keep his privacy, and he and Gasol can define their relationship on their own terms. I’m just curious. That’s all.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.

NBA All-Star, champion Bill Bridges dies at age 76

ATLANTA - 1968:  Bill Bridges#10 of the Atlanta Hawks poses for a portrait circa 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia. 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.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.

Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.

A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.