Kurt Helin

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant acknowledges the fans  as he walks of the court in Boston after the Lakers' 112-104 win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Associated Press

Kobe Bryant out vs. Sixers Friday due to sore shoulder


The last time Kobe Bryant missed a game this season, it was due to a sore right shoulder, and it hasn’t gotten completely healed.

Bryant is out again Friday night when the Lakers host the Sixers, reports Lakers’ sideline reporter Mike Trudell.

Anthony Brown will get the start in his place.

The Lakers are actually 4.5 points per 100 possessions worse when Kobe is on the court this season rather than sitting, almost completely because the defense gets better. If no Kobe means Byron Scott actually lets D'Angelo Russell (and Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson) play together in the fourth quarter and finish a game together, then it can be a good thing for the Lakers.

Matt Barnes posts Instagram rant about estranged wife, Fisher, Clippers, “worst year”


Matt Barnes isn’t going to miss 2015.

Fresh of serving a couple of game suspension for it, Barnes posted a rant on Instagram that makes it clear he has no regrets about his run in with Knicks coach Derek Fisher over him being at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife. Barnes also rants about the Clippers, Rihanna, pretty much everything but Donald Trump.

Check it out for yourself.

Thank God For 2016! 2015 hands down was the worst year of my life! * *Lost the women I loved,the mother of my kids, my Dogg.. I had to walk away from the only thing I've wanted, MY OWN FAMILY! "They call that karma" *To being traded away from a team & city I love! "They call that the business" *Lied on by a pop star Who's lucky I stuck to the script & didn't expose her lien ass Funny thing about texts & pics is they DONT LIE! "I Guess" "They call that getting played" *Last BUT NOT LEAST… Being stuck in the "triangle offense" w my ex & snitch, I mean former teammate & friend.. Who went behind my back, messed w my ex, got caught, got dealt w for being a snake, then ran & told the Police & NBA.. Instead of taken that ass whoopin like a man & kept it moving….! WHERE THEY DO THAT AT? Guess cause I didn't SNITCH, I get a 2 game suspension by the league "They call that LIFE" WHEN IT RAINED, IT POURED in 15 All this played out like a bad reality show, a nightmare, for your amusement & entertainment! For you to critique, make fun of, crack jokes & laugh about.. "What I shoulda did" or what "y'all would have done" Hmmmm… I say all this not for sympathy, because I had a hand in all the bad $h!t that happened.. I was never perfect in my relationship, I didn't see eye to eye w my head coach.. I was warned SEVERAL times about ole girl & I introduced love ones to people who I "thought were FRIENDS"… Lesson Learned!! This is for all of you who had a F@#%ed up year… To let you know I'm right there w you, We In this together! Everyone has ups & downs in this game called LIFE… It gets better…. "I think" Hahaa nah it does, trust me! — -Remember God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers!!! -Stay positive, hold ya head, tighten your circle & stick to your instincts.. -It's not about how many times you fall down, it's about how many times you get up! Heres to freeing your hands of all the bullshit of 2015 & preparing for the blessing God has in store for us all in 2016!  HAPPY NEW YEAR, LOVE #THEBADGUY

A photo posted by matt_barnes9 (@matt_barnes9) on

Marcus Morris: brother Markieff “still looking to get out of” Phoenix

Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris

Markieff Morris already got hit with a $10,000 fine for saying he wanted to be traded and get out of Phoenix. So he’s not talking about it anymore.

But his brother Marcus — who was traded from Phoenix to Detroit this summer, one of the things that made Markeiff unhappy — is still talking.

Marcus is enjoying some schadenfreude at the Suns’ recent troubles and told Vince Ellis at the Detroit Free Press that Markieff is still trying to get out of Arizona.

“You see what’s going on. Sorry to say it, but it’s self-explanatory. I don’t know what’s going on over there. It’s like a (clown) show right now…..

“One thing about Keef is he’s always positive,” Marcus said. “Some stuff might happen a little, but he’s always positive. He’s still looking to get out of there, still looking to go somewhere else. Right now he has to be a pro and continue to take care of his business on and off the court.”

The problem is Markieff is not taking of business on the court. He is averaging 10.5 points a game on 38.1 percent shooting, with a PER of 8.9 — some of the worst numbers of his career. Combine that with him being seen as having an attitude problem — he was suspended two games by the team for throwing a towel at coach Jeff Hornacek — and Markieff’s trade value is so low the Suns would have to throw in a sweetener to move Morris. It’s no secret around the league he wants to be moved, but right now nobody wants to bring him in.

Marcus, on the other hand, is starting for the Pistons and averaging 14.4 points a game.

Report: Knicks still looking to add guard, considering Jimmer Fredette

Jimmer Fredette D-League

The first name to come up was Tony Wroten, when the Sixers waived him. Next up in the rumor mill was Brandon Jennings when he returned from injury to the Detroit Pistons.

But the Knicks are still looking for a point guard to add to the roster and are taking a look at Jimmer Fredette, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

The degree of their interest in Wroten is unclear at this point. Detroit’s Brandon Jennings is also on the Knicks’ radar, but the club wasn’t impressed with what they saw from Jennings during Detroit’s loss to the Knicks on Tuesday, according to sources familiar with their thinking….

The Knicks also have been monitoring the D-League for potential additions. They have an open roster spot so they can add a player without making a corresponding roster move. In light of Cleanthony Early‘s knee injury from Wednesday’s shooting, the Knicks may need to add someone ASAP.

Jimmer Fredette of the Westchester Knicks is one candidate. Fredette has played well for the Knicks’ D-League club (23 points, 4.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds) and Phil Jackson is a fan of Fredette’s, according to a source, but that doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot with the Knicks.

For five seasons Fredette has struggled to find a spot in the NBA (including last season with a Pelicans team desperate for better guard play). He doesn’t have great athleticism and is playmaking skills are not NBA level. However, the biggest issue was always defense — when he would enter the game teams ran sets to go right at Fredette because he couldn’t stay in front of anyone. If he buys into being a role player off the bench for the Knicks and knocks down his looks he might have value on offense for the Knicks, but can they deal with his defense?

Whomever it is, look for the Knicks to add someone sooner rather than later.

Spurs’ Tim Duncan will play Saturday vs Rockets

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, left, talks with forward Tim Duncan (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 95-70. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Associated Press
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tim Duncan will play Saturday when San Antonio hosts the Houston Rockets after missing the previous three games.

The team made the announcement on Thursday. Duncan sat out San Antonio’s win Monday against Minnesota for rest, but missed the next two home games because of soreness in his right knee.

Houston snapped San Antonio’s seven-game winning streak with an 88-84 victory on Christmas Day. It’s the Spurs’ lone loss in their past 11 games.

Duncan missed three games earlier this season for rest. The 39-year-old forward is averaging a career-low 9.0 points, but has deferred much of his offense to emerging star Kawhi Leonard and newly acquired LaMarcus Aldridge.

Duncan is averaging 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while anchoring a defense that’s limiting opponents to a league-low 88.6 points.

“I think we could use him,” said Spurs guard Danny Green, with a smile. “I think we can find a spot for him somewhere.”

San Antonio is off to the second-best start in franchise history on the strength of a franchise-record, 19-game winning streak at home to open the season.

The Spurs are 6-0 without Duncan, winning those games by an average of 24 points.

That success has more to do with San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich strategically sitting Duncan rather than the team no longer needing the future Hall of Famer, Spurs forward Boris Diaw said.

“It’s just fortunate that when he couldn’t play, it was games that we should win,” Diaw said. “It was not against the best teams every time he has been out.”

Teams that San Antonio played without Duncan are a combined 63-110, including a pair of games against Denver and a 51-point victory over Philadelphia on Dec. 7.

The Spurs are facing a much tougher test Saturday against intrastate rival Houston.

“We’ve got to play better,” Diaw said. “Basically, we missed shots last time we played them. We didn’t get in a good rhythm, they played pretty aggressive and we didn’t respond to that. We’ve got to turn that around by using their aggressiveness to our advantage.”

Duncan had 13 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes against the Rockets in Houston.