Look, if you built a robot, designed to replicate Michael Jordan’s intensity and scoring ability, combined with the frame of Hakeem Olajuwon and the defensive ability of your pick between Shane Battier and Bruce Bowen, and asked Kobe Bryant “Could you beat the robot one-on-one?”, he’s going to say yes. Quickly. That’s how he’s programmed. That’s what makes him who he is. It defines him as a human being, practically, philosophically, in all ways.
So when HoopsFix decided to ask Kobe a few months back who would win, you’re never going to guess how he answered. Take it away, Kobester!
In the crayon box, there should be a neutral color crayon called “Kobe thinks he can beat someone one-on-one.” Then you can color me with it.
Thing is, though, Kobe’s right. LeBron is a Magic Johnson type. He is more focused on the all-around game. He is better setting up his teammates. He is focused on the all-around game versus breaking down his opponent face up. Which is what would make a Heat-Lakers Finals so compelling in the unlikely event it were to occur (lots to happen between now and then.. you’re not buying this, are you?). It would be a stunning contrast in philosophic approach between the two biggest stars in the game, contrasted by their attitudes. Kobe is focused on individual greatness, being the best you can possibly be, even though he doesn’t care what you think about him. LeBron is focused on setting up his teammates and helping them succeed, even though he’s unarguably one of the most arrogant people on the planet. You know, outside of the whole “hype so high it would threaten to destroy the planet” thing, that would make the Finals pretty entertaining.
Ex-Sacramento Kings executive to plead guilty to siphoning $13.4 million from the team
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Court records show a former Sacramento Kings top executive has agreed to plead guilty to siphoning $13.4 million from the team to buy Southern California beachfront properties.
Federal prosecutors in Sacramento, California, on Wednesday filed charges and a plea agreement signed by former chief revenue officer Jeffrey David admitting to forging the team president’s signature to divert sponsorship payments to a bank account he controlled. Court records show the properties have been sold for $14.8 million, and the team is expected to recoup the stolen funds.
David is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud and identity theft in January and faces at least two years in prison, court records show.
David’s lawyer, Mark Reichel, didn’t return a call for comment.
The Sacramento Bee first reported the plea deal Wednesday.
Report: Dirk Nowitzki will make season debut Thursday against Suns
Of course, sending Nowitzki back onto an NBA floor against Phoenix is perhaps the easiest test he could have as he comes back from an injury. The Suns are god-awful, and Nowitzki will need some time to readjust to playing at full speed (or at least at whatever speed he normally plays at).
The 40-year-old German star should be able to help the Mavericks as a bench contributor this season. Hopefully with Nowitzki on the floor Dallas can solidify their potential playoff berth.
Rumor: Pistons among teams considering Markelle Fultz trade
Let’s be clear, nothing is close on any Sixers trade of Fultz right now. Teams are just testing the waters.
It’s an interesting idea for Detroit, the chance to add a player who was a high draft pick — but only if they think he’s healthy and can get over his mental hurdles (his agent said there aren’t any, it’s all physical, and most of the league laughed at that). Also, the sides need to find a trade that works. Fultz, as a No. 1 pick, is not cheap, he makes $8.3 million this season and is guaranteed $9.7 next season, then $12.3 million the season after that (unless whatever team has his rights and just cuts bait on that last season).
The Pistons are flirting with the luxury tax line right now, their $123.3 million payroll is just about $500,000 below the tax line, so Detroit will not be taking on any salary in any potential trade. They also sent out last year’s first-round pick in the Blake Griffin trade, so they can’t trade this year’s, and likely would not include a pick anyway. A deal centered around Ish Smith or Langston Galloway plus Zaza Pachulia works (after Dec. 15 when Pachulia becomes available to trade). Both provide guard depth and Galloway offers Philly some shooting (34.9 percent taking 65 percent of his shots from three this season). Reggie Bullock also could be part of a trade.
There are options. Right now the Pistons are among the teams kicking the tires on a trade, but we are a long way from it actually happening.