Basketball should be the last thing Nenad Krstic should be worried about right now. Read this fascinating story by Henry Abbott at TrueHoop — Krstic’s hometown in Serbia, where his father still lives, has been decimated by an earthquake.
But he’s still here and still playing basketball for an Oklahoma City Thunder team that isn’t living up to expectations yet.
Krstic agrees with the critics, the Thunder are not playing well enough right now, he told Abbott.
“We have a tough, tough schedule coming up. It’s going to be interesting. We got to play better. We don’t play consistently. Maybe it’s like last year, we were like 12-14 or something and we turned it up and played better. But I don’t know if that’s going to be the case this year. … We’ll see.”
Kobe Bryant touched so many lives.
That included the legions of fans who never met him, but who saw now only his Hall of Fame performances on the court but also the drive and work ethic it took for him to reach those heights. Kobe inspired them to strive and work for what they wanted in their own lives.
He also touched the lives of many around the NBA, and as news of his death in a helicopter crash in Southern California Sunday spread, the reactions of shock and love for the man poured in from around the league.
In Toronto, where the Spurs and Raptors were tipping off, both teams took a 24-second violation to start the game — 24 for No. 24.
Reactions poured in from every corner of the sports world.
On a personal note, I was fortunate to be a witness to some of Kobe Bryant’s biggest moments, from the 2010 NBA title through his injury and return, and his legendary final game.
However, that’s not how I will remember him.
The season he missed most of with a torn Achilles, he would sometimes come into the Laker locker room pregame (while it was open to the media) and just sit down, and sometimes talk — not on the record, if some unknowing reporter pulled out a digital recorder or a camera and it was over. The casual conversations were about nothing, or whatever was going on in the world, but a few times it turned to being a father of daughters — Kobe had four daughters, I am fortunate enough to have three, and numerous other reporters around the Lakers had multiple daughters (there must be something in the water at Staples Center). That’s the Kobe I remember, the one who cared and thought more deeply about his family than he did basketball — and we all know how he obsessed over the game. He was someone who loved his family with all his heart and, like dads everywhere, wasn’t always sure how to navigate through family life. As a group, the conversations would at times be about watching our daughters play sports and how we hoped that would help them grow to be confident, strong young women. He seemed able to inspire and pass along the confidence he had in himself to his daughters, and that was a tremendous gift to them.
Our thoughts are with your family and friends.
Kobe Bryant, the legendary Laker star who was saluted by LeBron James on Saturday night, has died in a helicopter crash in Southern California, sources have confirmed to NBC Sports.
The crash took place in Calabasas, an area about 30 miles northeast of the Staples Center, where Kobe starred as a player for more than a decade. It is not far from the Mamba Academy athletic training center where Kobe was both an owner and an active participant. It was a foggy day in Southern California, which could have contributed to the crash.
The crash killed five people, of which Kobe was one.
Kobe was 41. He and his wife Vanessa have four daughters. Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was aboard the helicopter with Kobe (they were on their way to one of her basketball games, along with a fellow teammate of Gianna’s and her parent).
Bryant starred for 20 years in NBA
Kobe had a 20-year NBA career that will send him to the Hall of Fame (once he becomes eligible). He was a five-time NBA Champion, a 15-time All-NBA player, NBA MVP, two-time scoring champion, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Medalist for Team USA, and a player who influenced a generation who came up after him. His work ethic was legendary and was part of what rubbed off on LeBron and many others.
Kobe became synonymous with the Lakers and their brand — the loyalty Kobe generated with his fans was unmatched in the modern NBA.
Kobe’s death came just a day after LeBron passed him for third All-Time in NBA scoring. LeBron talked about how he had grown up idolizing Kobe and the influence Kobe had on his life. Kobe’s last Tweet was about LeBron and, appropriately, the future of the game.
A simple number retirement wasn’t enough to honor Kobe Bryant’s monumental career. The Lakers found the perfect solution, retiring both his No. 8 and No. 24.
Likewise, commemorating Bryant’s tragically short life warranted far more than a standard moment of silence. The Spurs and Raptors found a perfect solution, each team taking a shot-clock violation to open their game today in memory of Bryant, No. 24.
What a beautifully fitting tribute to an all-time great player.
With a running layup across the lane Saturday night, LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant, moving up to third on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list.
After that, the love started to pour in for LeBron.
First it came from his teammates, then from the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, smart basketball fans who appreciate greatness when they see it.
Next Kobe Bryant Tweeted his congratulations.
Then the love flowed in from across the spectrum, including former teammates and other players. Here is just a taste.
LeBron trails only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the scoring list, with LeBron 4,733 points back of Kareem. The scoring champ was on SiriusXM NBA Radio this past week and he also showed his appreciation for LeBron — and added LeBron could pass him.
“I think it is up to LeBron. If he wants to do it, he’ll do it. He has the talent. He has the opportunity. So it’s just up to him as to how he wants to end his career. I certainly cannot be upset about it. The reason that they keep these records is so that we learn how we are improving. And we learn how to teach the game, taking note of the accomplishments of the great players. So, hey, it’s a natural progression. I don’t have any problem with it.”