Kurt Helin

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant waves to fans as he walks off the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Associated Press

Kobe Bryant’s retirement plans: Skiing, surfing, skydiving

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Kobe Bryant‘s career will come to an end Wednesday, April 13, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, when the Lakers end the season against the Utah Jazz. (Please basketball gods, let him remain healthy enough to play in that game and walk off the court on his terms.)

Then what?

Kobe wants to go skiing. His job has kept him busy in the winter for the past couple decades, and it’s not like Bryant was going to go Vladimir Radmanovic and take off to go snowboarding during a break. But now that he will have the time, he wants to do it — and mix in some surfing and skydiving, he told former teammate Rick Fox and Jared Greenberg Wednesday on SiriusXM NBA Radio (audio clip below).

“I’m looking forward to skiing a little bit. I’ve never been skiing before. Maybe do a little surfing, maybe. Maybe a little skydiving.”

Also during the interview, Kobe also talked about declining the offer to be part of the 30 guys on the final list for Team USA this summer.

Bryant also talked about being moved by both how the fans treated him in his final game in his hometown of Philadelphia, and by the All-Star voting where he leads all vote getters and will start for the West.

Pelican’s Eric Gordon fractures finger, could miss four weeks

New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon, right, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings guard Marco Belinelli, of Italy, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Associated Press

In a season marred by injuries in New Orleans, Eric Gordon has been the one exception — he played in all of the Pelican’s first 41 games (starting 40).

So much for that. Gordon fractured the ring finger on his right hand — his shooting hand — during the Pelican’s victory against the Timberwolves Tuesday night, coach Alvin Gentry confirmed after the game in his press conference. Officially, there is no timetable for his return.

“We’ll get more information (Wednesday) and figure out what has to be done, and go from there,” Gentry said of Gordon’s status.

However, at the New Orleans Advocate Scott Kushner reports it could be a month before Gordon is back on the court.

While the Pelicans wouldn’t give an official timetable, sources told The Advocate they expect Gordon to miss four weeks.

The injury happened in the third quarter.

This is a serious blow. The Pelicans are six points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court this season, with much of that improvement on the defensive end. Gordon is averaging 14.9 points and 2.7 assists per game, is shooting 37.7 percent from three. This likely means either Norris Cole or Jrue Holiday will become the starter with Tyreke Evans, and all three of them likely get more run now.

The Pelicans are in the early part of a seven-game homestand that is critical for them if they want to get back in the playoff picture in the West.

Kevin Garnett slaps Ryan Anderson in face, Anderson called for foul


This is about the most Kevin Garnett play you’ll ever see.

He’s running up the court, the Pelican’s Ryan Anderson slides over close to him, and KG reaches out to smack Anderson in the head. The referee sees it and whistles Anderson for the foul.

The best part is the fans in the arena see the video and boo, the referees hear this and review the play with the help of Secaucus, and still keep the foul on Anderson, saying he got in KG’s way. Riiiight.

Anderson and the Pelicans had the last laugh, coming from 17 down to get the comfortable 114-99 win.

Three Takeaways from NBA Tuesday: Anthony Davis too much for Timberwolves

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, left, drives against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Associated Press

A little reading recommendation: Yago Colas has a book coming out called “Ball Don’t Lie” talking about the intersection of hoops, language, culture, politics and more and how it shapes the sport we love. It looks compelling, and you can preorder it now. Also, here’s what you need to know from a four-game slate Tuesday in the NBA:

1) Anthony Davis drops 35 on Timberwolves, Pelicans get needed win. If the New Orleans Pelicans are going to make a push and get back in the playoff picture in the West, it’s going to happen now — Tuesday marked the start of a seven-game homestand. Anthony Davis understood the urgency. Davis put up 22 points in the first half when the Timberwolves had built a 17-point lead — without Davis this game would have been over by half. Davis did most of his damage with Kevin Garnett covering him — KG was a step slow to contest Davis’ jumper most of the night and paid for it. Then when Minnesota inevitably blew their lead (they have led by 17 or more nine times this season and lost five of those games) it was Davis who got to the line, scored a dozen in the final frame, and secured the Pelicans victory.

New Orleans is still four games back of Utah for the last playoff spot in the West, and they are going to have to hop Portland and Sacramento to get there, but it’s not impossible. The Pelicans’ schedule isn’t brutal in the second half, but they need to string together wins. And they are going to have to do it without Eric Gordon, who fractured his finger and is likely out a month.

2) Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on the same team is just not fair.
Oklahoma City is still trying to figure out what to do with the starting shooting guard slot — nobody seems to be consistent there. Against Denver Tuesday, when it was the four lock starters — Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams — and Andre Roberson (who started), the Pelicans were -9. Sub in Dion Waiters for Roberson and the Thunder were +10. But we all know the next night Waiters could be the issue. It will be interesting to see if the Thunder try to address this at the trade deadline.

What the Thunder have are Durant and Westbrook, who cover up a lot of those flaws, and are the reason OKC got a 110-104 win in the mile high altitude. Durant led the way with 30 points and 12 rebounds, while Westbrook added 27 — but he was the highlight factory for a night.

3) Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked on Hassan Whiteside. Westbrook was impressive, but the Greek Freak had the dunk of the night, powering through Dwyane Wade then throwing it down on arguably the best shot blocker in the game. And the Bucks got the 91-79 win.

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook lead Thunder over Nuggets 110-104

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DENVER (AP) — Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each had double-doubles and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets 110-104 on Tuesday night.

Durant finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Thunder, who have won five in a row.

Westbrook scored 27 points and added 12 assists but fell five rebounds shy of another triple-double. He had two straight coming in and five on the season.

The Thunder have won 20 of 24 and are the only team in the Northwest Division with a winning record. They are 12 games in front of Utah.

Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points but only seven after halftime for the Nuggets. Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Nuggets.

The Nuggets announced before the game they had signed general manager Tim Connelly and assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas to multi-year contract extensions.