Is there anyone in the NBA more ripe for parody than Joey Crawford?
I bet even Crawford finds it funny.
Charles Barkley gets paid handsomely to give his unfiltered opinions, and he did just that about Kobe Bryant recently:
“I hope he retires, because I don’t want to see — I probably played two years too long. I hate to see Patrick Ewing, great as he was, struggle — I don’t like seeing great players just out there, you know? Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards, that didn’t do anything for me. Kobe’s obviously not going to walk away from $30 million. This should be like a farewell tour, play 20, 25 minutes a night. The Lakers aren’t going to make the playoffs. Could he play some more? Yeah, of course. His best days are behind him. I hear these fools on TV, talking about, ‘Kobe’s going to get healthy.’ Old people don’t get healthy; they die. Old people don’t get healthy. Father Time is undefeated.”
Kobe took to Twitter to respond, and while he didn’t mention any names we pretty much know who he was talking about.
First off, very savvy response from Kobe. That’s how you fire back on Twitter.
Second, nothing scares Kobe. Ever.
Two players in my top 30 for the 2015 NBA draft went undrafted: No. 23 Christian Wood and No. 26 Michael Frazier.
Wood signed with the Rockets, and now Frazier is headed to the Lakers.
According to a team spokesman, the former Florida standout is expected to sign with the team over the next few days
A person privy to the details of the agreement, but not authorized to comment publicly, said Frazier will sign a two-year, minimum-salary deal of $1.4 million ($525,093 and $874,636, respectively).
Only $50,000 of his first-year salary will be guaranteed.
Needless to say, I like this deal. This is a small price to pay for someone I believe has first-round ability.
Frazier is a knock-down 3-point shooter. He made 43% of his attempts beyond the arc at Florida, and his 85% mark from the free-throw line supports the idea he’ll continue to shoot well in the NBA.
Frazier’s game is pretty limited to spot-up shooting, but that’s an important skill. If the Lakers get an attention-drawing star – whether it’s Kobe Bryant getting healthy, D’Angelo Russell or Julius Randle developing or a free agent signing – Frazier could fill a key supporting role.
In the meantime, Frazier will compete for an NBA roster spot. The Lakers have 12 players with fully guaranteed salaries plus Jonathan Holmes ($100,000 guaranteed), Tarik Black (unguaranteed) and Jabari Brown (unguaranteed). If the Lakers waive Frazier, they could assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders. That would keep Frazier in the pipeline, but he could sign with any NBA team.
Kobe Bryant isn’t going to let injuries determine when his career ends — he wants to go out on his own terms. After playing just 41 games the past two seasons due to injury, Bryant will be back in Lakers’ purple (Forum Blue, if you prefer) and providing tough love to a young team this season. This team, this franchise is still his.
After this season, he doesn’t know.
He’s talked about retiring after this season, but he could play in the Rio Olympics in 2016, or play overseas, or maybe return for another NBA season. While the ultra-competitive Kobe has set up an interesting post-basketball life, walking away from the game is never easy.
“I hope he retires, because I don’t want to see — I probably played two years too long. I hate to see Patrick Ewing, great as he was, struggle — I don’t like seeing great players just out there, you know?” Barkley said. “Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards, that didn’t do anything for me. Kobe’s obviously not going to walk away from $30 million. This should be like a farewell tour, play 20, 25 minutes a night. The Lakers aren’t going to make the playoffs. Could he play some more? Yeah, of course. His best days are behind him. I hear these fools on TV, talking about, ‘Kobe’s going to get healthy.’ Old people don’t get healthy; they die. Old people don’t get healthy. Father Time is undefeated. … You can get in great shape in the summer, because you’re playing against air. Air doesn’t hit back.”
Kobe probably has that quote pinned on his bathroom mirror so he sees it every morning. That is his fuel.
It’s impossible to predict what Kobe will do at the end of the season because even Kobe doesn’t know. Can he stay healthy for a season? He’s keeping his options open for a reason. My guess is he leaves the game — it’s a lot of work to get his body ready for an NBA season right now, and if you’re not in the Tim Duncan space where you’re still competing for rings, is it worth the effort? But we don’t know for sure, and if he wants to come back the Buss family will pay him handsomely to do so.
Kobe would love to prove Charles Barkley wrong, and then remind him of it.
From the first moments after the Los Angeles Lakers took him with the No. 2 pick, D’Angelo Russell has been singing the praises of Kobe Bryant. But Kobe is not his only idol, and Russell tweeted out this:
You knew Kobe wasn’t going to let that slide.
It took all of six minutes for Russell to start backpedaling.
Kobe let the rookie off the hook. At least in public.
Shock the world? For the Lakers that would be making the playoffs with this roster.