Tag: NBA Philippeans

NBA's Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant dun

Kobe says his knee is “best it’s been in a long time”


Maybe what Kobe Bryant’s knee needed was a little rest and some expensive, exotic therapy.

His knee had been an issue the last couple seasons — it’s almost bone on bone. It’s why Kobe had surgery on it last summer, and why he had to have it drained multiple times in previous years. It’s why Kobe sat out most Lakers practices last season. But three straight trips to the NBA finals with an Olympics thrown in is a lot of basketball and not a lot of rest the last few years.

This year the Lakers got unceremoniously bounced in the second round by the Mavericks. Lakers fans hated that, but apparently Kobe’s knees liked it.

That’s what he told Derek Fisher while the two were raking in an easy paycheck in the Philippines, according to the Orange County Register.

Derek Fisher said Friday about teammate and pal Kobe Bryant: “He’s telling me — and I saw for myself — that his knee is the best it’s been in a long time…”

Fisher said he didn’t really believe Bryant’s boasting initially, but seeing Bryant in action was convincing.

“I saw it a little bit in Manila,” Fisher said, smiling, “so I believe it now.”

Things that would help the Lakers bounce back next year include a healthier Kobe (with a new coach he can’t be sitting out practices). Another thing that would help is a new point guard, but we’ll talk to Fisher about that later.

How the Kobe, Rose Philippines exhibition came together

NBA's Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant dun
1 Comment

Being rich has its perks.

That essentially is how the two big exhibition games in the Phillipines last week that included Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and four other NBA players came together. It was because Filipino tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan — called MVP by most — decided he wanted it to happen for his birthday.

In a fascinating story at Grantland by Rafe Bartholomew, he traces how the entire “Ultimate All-Star Weekend” event got pulled together outside of the NBA. It’s an idea that had floated around for a while but needed a lockout to solidify everything.

(Well known Filipino coach Chot) Reyes and Pangilinan’s plan sat on the back burner until June 30, when Commissioner David Stern announced the start of the NBA lockout. The players began exploring their overseas opportunities, not just to make an extra buck but to show team owners and the NBA brass that they could earn money outside of the league. “When the lockout was announced,” Reyes said, “We said, ‘this is it — this is the sign.'” Reyes gave East-West a list of the players he wanted, starting with Rose, Durant, and Blake Griffin, and Scott and Espaldon started calling agents to check the players’ interest, availability, and what it would take to bring them to Manila for a weekend.

MVP and his people have disputed the report that key players got $400,000 for the weekend’s two games, but it wasn’t cheap to do this. And getting Kobe cost the most.

With a budget in mind, Pangilinan convened a meeting of the executives of his group of companies to present his plan. The board approved, but added one additional requirement: To ensure that the Ultimate All-Star Weekend would be a “blockbuster,” Reyes said, the board insisted on signing a superstar. They wanted Kobe Bryant. East-West got in touch with Bryant, who was touring China for Nike. Kobe, it turned out, was willing to play, but his fee, plus the cost of flying his entourage to Manila by private charter, kicked the overall budget into another level of the stratosphere, according to Reyes. “We really had to think long and hard about that,” he said, “but in our organization, when we decide to do something we will think long and hard for maybe one hour or two hours and then say, ‘Come on, let’s get it done.'”

Ticket prices were kept down (you could get a seat for $8, courtside tickets were $129) and because of that Pangilinan’s companies lost money on the event. But the Philippines are basketball fanatics, and this event was a monster success. That builds goodwill with people, and that’s something companies cannot put a price on. Plus, the uniforms for the event had the company logo across the chest, and the event was a huge television event as well. It was marketing.

A good time was had by all. There are perks to being rich.

Video: JaVale McGee dunks, blocks and planks in game

1 Comment

We thought the best planking done by JaVale McGee was in the Hong Kong Airport. Which beat (barely) him in the grocery store.

But he has topped that. Check out the video below from the All-Star exhibition games this weekend in the  Philippines. McGee drives and dunks, gets back to block a shot at the other end, and celebrates with the in-game plank.

Which I like. But we will never see because Steve Javie would “T” him up faster than Charles Barkley could down an In-n-Out double double. Well, maybe not that fast, but fast. Still, enjoy the video, it’s what JaVale can do when he’s into it.

Video: Durant off-the-backboard ally-oop to Harden

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two
Leave a comment

They were having some fun over in Manilla. And making some nice dough.

But mostly having a lot of fun. For a group of NBA stars, this was an exhibition and a chance to show off a little. Like this play, where Kevin Durant leads what we will generously call a secondary break, gets in the lane then throws the crazy ally-oop to James Harden.

If you want to see Kobe and Rose hook up for another dunk, go here. But this is the best play we saw all weekend.

How intense are lockout negotiations? Fisher headed to Philippines.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers
1 Comment

We tried to tell you earlier that there are no meaningful negotiations going on between the owners and players, that everyone is playing a game of lockout chicken, waiting for the deadline to put pressure on the talks.

Here is another sign just how little is going on — union president Derek Fisher is heading to the Philippines for some exhibition games, reports Mark Medina at the Los Angeles Times.

Fisher will join the likes of Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Derrick Williams, Tyreke Evans and JaVale McGee representing the MVP Sports Foundation, according to a person who was familiar with the roster but wasn’t authorized to speak about it publicly.

The team is expected to play in a pair of exhibition games July 23 and 24 against the Philippine Basketball Assn.’s All-Star team and the Smart Gilas national team at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Not sure exactly what team with CP3 and Rose is going to do with Fisher at the point, but there you go. He’ll be there.

Fisher also has been linked to a still-forming barnstorming tour of China expected to happen in the late summer or fall. When he might actually be needed at the bargaining table.

Right now he’s not because there are no high-level talks going on (and really no midlevel or even low-level talks either).