The Sacramento Kings have lost their last 14 games when DeMarcus Cousins has had to sit out for whatever reason, including their last three this past week. Which makes this especially bad news.
Cousins has been admitted to a Sacramento area hospital to fight the viral infection that has kept in sidelined the last week, the team announced Wednesday. Doctors said Cousins needed “rest and treatment.” Cousins will be out at least two more games, this Friday and Saturday, and may return to the rotation next week (maybe next Tuesday vs. Toronto).
Cousins is having a career year coming off his time with Team USA this summer, averaging 23,5 points and 12.6 rebounds a game, with 1.5 blocks a game thrown in.
His play led Sacramento to a fast 9-5 start to the season, but the Kings have fallen back to .500 with Cousins out. Something that will continue for at least a couple more games now,
I’m not a Drake guy. Maybe I’d feel differently if I was born in Toronto (I live in Long Beach so I’m more a Snoop Dogg guy, although frankly I live on the Sublime side of town).
But apparently Drake gave Stephen Curry a shoutout in his track “0 to 100/The Catch Up” (hat tip to Kyle Neubeck at Bleacher Report):
“I been Steph Curry with the shot. Been cookin’ with the sauce, chef, curry with the pot, boy.”
So Curry and his wife have responded with their own remake version. Well played.
Kobe Bryant is just 127 points back of Michael Jordan on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list, meaning Kobe will move past the legend some time in the next couple weeks.
No player has been compared to Jordan more than Kobe (the comments on this post will devolve into that tired debate again) — something Kobe has encouraged. And no player has withstood the comparison to arguably the game’s greatest player as well. As fans we get drawn into these debates rather than just enjoying greatness as it comes in its varied forms through the league. We can admire both without diminishing the other. Kobe and Jordan are different players of different (if slightly overlapping) eras.
And they are friends. Bryant opened up to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report about his relationship with Jordan in a must-read article.
“We hit it off very well. He was really like a big brother, and whether it’s because we see things in a similar way in terms of our competitive spirit or fire or whatever the case may be, there’s an understanding that we have—a connection that we have.
“I don’t know if he opened up with me more than he did with other players, I’m not sure. I don’t know if other players had the balls even to ask. But we have a really, really good relationship.”
Kobe’s critics will say he learned all his moves from Jordan — even Jordan has joked about that — but Bryant says that’s not true.
“The thing that I always bristled at was the notion that I learned everything that I know from Michael. That’s just not true. Hakeem Olajuwon deserves a lot of credit; Jerry West deserves a lot of credit. Oscar Robertson deserves a lot of credit. I really was a student of the game and watched everybody.
“I’ve always welcomed the comparison to Michael if it’s in competitive spirit or in terms of records that I may set. I’ve always been cool with that. To be in that kind of company is…is…is…crazy, for lack of a better term. Rare air.”
Bryant is clearly thinking a lot about his legacy at this point, he knows this is the final chapter of his career. Fair or not part of that will be how he stacks up against Jordan, and the fact he is passing the legend on the all time scoring list — yes, in more years and games, but passing him nonetheless — means a lot to Kobe.
When last we saw George Karl it was the summer of 2013 and he had just been named NBA Coach of the Year for leading the Denver Nuggets to 57 wins playing an exciting brand of basketball.
So the Nuggets fired him. The GM had bolted for the north country and with a new GM coming in Karl had pushed for a contract extension (he was entering the last year of his deal). That push combined with a first-round playoff loss to Golden State (because Danilo Gallinari was injured) and philosophical differences about how much to use certain younger players (read: JaVale McGee) led the Nuggets to can him. After that the Nuggets brought in Brian Shaw and that has worked out… oh, no need to go there, that’s not the point of the story.
The point is Karl wants back in.
He’s a regular host on SiriusXM NBA Radio and on Wednesday said what he has said before: He wants to be back on the sideline.
“I think I’ve got one more stint in me. I would like to try to get to the mountain top one more time. My lifetime goal was always to be a NBA champion and I’ve gotten close a couple of times but I’ve never gotten there. I would hope to give it one more whatever – 3, 4, 5 year stint with some team. And if I have the energy, which I think I do right now – I’m probably as energized and as healthy as I’ve been since about 15 years ago – I’m ready to go, just find me a team.”
The Lakers reportedly seriously considered hiring Karl before deciding to bring the history back with Byron Scott. Karl has been rumored in other spots, plus at one point he tried to inject himself into the Cleveland Cavaliers president search.
Karl isn’t always the easiest guy for management to work with, but what he does do is win. A lot. He’s been the head man on an NBA sideline for 25 seasons and has a .599 winning percentage. Plus his teams play an exciting brand of basketball. He’s been to an NBA Finals and made some deep playoff runs.
Which is to say, there are a few teams that should consider giving him a real shot. There are a lot of NBA teams he could help.
Here is the audio of Karl’s comments:
With Kobe Bryant, patience is relative.
He is by his own definition an old-school, hard-a** taskmaster who is going to drive those around him. He doesn’t like losing, he doesn’t tolerate a lack of preparation or effort. He’s going to push himself and he’s going to push this team.
He’s also smart. Certainly smart enough to know this Lakers team is bad, they are not playoff bound in the West (despite a couple straight wins) and the real question at the end of the season is if they will finish in the bottom five and hold on to their pick (if their first round draft pick is six or higher it goes to the Suns from the Steve Nash deal). Kobe knows this team is only going to be pushed so far.
All of which is to say he’s being patient. For Kobe. That’s what he told Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
“The idea of me having no patience is misunderstood,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night. “I don’t have patience when we’re not putting the work in, if I see that we’re not doing our job as professionals. If that’s happening, I’ll let my team know about it. But this is not that kind of group. We work. These guys want to get better every day. They’re there early working, they’re there late working.
“This organization put forth a lot of effort to try and land some of these top free agents. They went for it. I respect that. I appreciate that.
“Now it’s time for me to go out there and do my job – not whine or complain about it.”
Guys on the team such as Jeremy Lin say Kobe is talking to them, mentoring them. And yelling a little too. It’s all connected for Bryant.
Kobe’s going to put up numbers this season. He’s going to be a show. And while he can no longer lift a team as high doing that as he once did, he will fill Staples Center’s expensive seats with people who want to see it. Ratings will be up, sponsors will still flock to the Lakers.
This summer they will swing again at big free agents, and like most Jim Thome trips to the plate the strikeout is far more likely outcome than the home run. And the cycle will repeat.
And next season Kobe will be patient. For Kobe.