Tag: Steve Nash

Kobe Bryant

Report: Kobe Bryant already vacationing in France as Lakers end ugly season


Would you want to stick around for the end of this disaster?

This Lakers team has racked up more losses (55) than any team in franchise history and Kobe Bryant wants nothing to do with it — he has not been around the team much as this season wore on, as the losses piled up, as he recovered from a fractured knee.

Now as the Lakers prepare to take on the Spurs in their final game Kobe Bryant isn’t even on the continent — he’s in France on vacation, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Bryant went to France with family members either Tuesday or Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times has learned. The Lakers conclude their season Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs….

Bryant has been in a surly mood since the team’s fortunes started sagging, muttering under his breath at last month’s team photo that he doesn’t like associating with a team so many games under .500.

Contrast that with Pau Gasol, who was injured and out the last few games of the season but traveled with the Lakers on this road trip and spoke with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report about it.

Asked why he made the trip in his condition, Gasol shrugged and said: “Be a good teammate, be a good professional.” I asked him if he considered not coming, and Gasol said he was medically cleared by the doctor to fly, so he did. He also mentioned he was one of the team captains and wanted to support the guys.

Who is showing more leadership here?

Kobe’s “leadership through intimidation” tactics don’t work with everyone (he was always more effective with Derek Fisher’s good cop to his bad cop, Steve Nash couldn’t really fill that locker room role). This is Kobe’s team still — the two-year, $48.5 million extension he got that keeps him the highest paid player in the league ensures that — but it hasn’t been the second half of this year.

The Lakers are going to be very different next season. Different coach most likely. Certainly roster changes (though maybe not the major ones Kobe is hoping for, it’s a tough market right now).

Will they be better? We’ll see. Just having Bryant back for the majority of games would help considerably, but it’s going to take more than just that.

Which is to say Kobe may not be happy at the end of next season either, but hopefully he’s healthy and not sitting in Bordeaux. Or wherever.

Luol Deng wins J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

Paul George, Luol Deng

In 2007, Luol Deng was named a finalist for the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. The honor ultimately went to Steve Nash, but today, Deng received the honor.

NBA Public Relations:

Cle L Deng named 13-14 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award by the PBWA for outstanding service and dedication to the community

In Chicago, Cleveland and abroad, Deng has made a mark for being generous his time and thoughtful with his contributions.

He’ll be a free agent after this season and whatever team he winds up with, the local community will be lucky to have him.

Nick Young ‘very confident’ about chances of returning to Lakers

Nick Young

We know two things about Nick Young in relation to his current status with the Lakers.

He loves playing for the purple and gold despite being a part of one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

And, he’ll almost certainly opt out of the minimum-salary player option he has for next season in hopes of securing a more lucrative, long-term deal.

But all things being equal, Young has made it known that he’d prefer to stay in Los Angeles.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

“Of course I want to be here and be a part of a team that’s going to the playoffs and fighting for championships and really get a chance to get that feeling of being a part of that Laker parade and having my little speech like (Shaquille O’Neal) did, ‘Can you dig it?’ Have my own sayings, you know? So, I’ve thought about that a lot. That would really be a great dream come true.”

Young made it sound like he thinks those dreams can be realized.

“I’m very confident,” Young said when asked about his chances of returning to the Lakers. “I think we’re going to come to some kind of agreement and hopefully it happens. We just got to see what they’re going to do.”

Much has been made of the Lakers having plenty of salary cap space to go after high-profile free agents this summer, but the reality is that the team has just three players under guaranteed contracts for next season  — Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre.

There’s plenty of room, both in terms of the roster space and the available dollars to bring Young back in at a higher salary figure more representative of his contributions to the team. As long as Young and his agent don’t get too crazy in terms of their demands, there is indeed a good chance he could continue to play in Los Angeles beyond this season.