Kobe Bryant joins Taylor Swift onstage at Staples Center, presents her with a banner (VIDEO)


On Friday night, Taylor Swift performed the fifth show of her nine-night residency at Staples Center, the home of the Lakers and Clippers. It was her 16th sold-out show at the arena of her career, the most of any artist, which is an impressive accomplishment for a 25-year-old.

During Swift’s performance of the 1989 hit “Style,” Kobe Bryant joined her onstage:

Unbeknownst to her, Kobe had a surprise to mark the Staples Center sellout milestone: a banner to hang with the Lakers’ 16.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a performance of “K.O.B.E.” Swift would have been more than capable of handling Tyra Banks’ hook. But it was a cool moment nonetheless.

Report: Carlos Boozer drawing interest in China, still hoping for NBA deal


When it comes to free agents still on the market, there really isn’t much. It’s mostly fringe guys and veterans who are strictly 15th men on the roster. If you’re looking for someone who won’t cost that much money, can still be a productive player and is a respected veteran around the league, your options are few and far between. Which is why it’s a bit of a surprise that Carlos Boozer is still out without a job. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Boozer has had offers from teams in China, and he’s considering them, although he still wants an NBA deal.

The Lakers picked up Boozer off waivers last summer after the Bulls used the amnesty provision on the final year of his contract. He only started 26 games for the Lakers, but he was solid in 23.8 minutes per game off the bench, averaging 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He’s not a starter on a contender at this point in his career, especially given his weaknesses on defense. But if he’s your fourth or fifth big, you’re in very good shape, and he’s been well-liked as a teammate throughout his career. He’s made almost $150 million in his 13 years in the league, and at this point he could probably be had for the minimum or close to it. It’s surprising that a team looking for a solid locker-room veteran still capable of producing in shorter minutes at power forward hasn’t picked him up yet.

From Bad Idea Jeans file: Guy gets Kobe, Jordan tattoos on his calves


From our files of people who make terrible life decisions — the “Bad Idea Jeans” file — we bring you this bit of body art:

The heads of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, facing each other, on this man’s calves for all eternity. Under it simply says, “I love this game.”

I have a very laissez-faire attitude about life and what body art people choose to go with. It’s your body, make your choices. That said, we can all agree some choices are poor — this would be example 1A.

As he ages, this man will wear shorts less and less often. I’d bet it ruins at least one potential relationship (can you imagine the first time his date sees this?). It’s actually some pretty good artwork, very impressive likenesses, so I guess kudos to the artist, whoever he/she is. But really, shouldn’t you have talked him out of it?

Hat tip to Darren Rovell.

Iggy Azalea roasts Nick Young: She imitates his drunk pre-proposals, says he needs more basketball practice


Nick Young and Iggy Azalea are now engaged, and – move over, Brandon Armstrong – she hilariously imitates his drunk conversations prior to the proposal. Watch to the end for her awesome burn of the Lakers guard.

If only there were some flaw in her rapping career he could mock in response…

NBA rookie survey suggests Karl-Anthony Towns over Jahlil Okafor was a mistake


Most NBA teams would have picked Karl-Anthony Towns over Jahlil Okafor with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. I would have. The Timberwolves did.

But a plurality of NBA rookies prefer Okafor, who went No. 3 to the 76ers.

Two responses in NBA.com’s annual rookie survey reveal that:

Who will be the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year?

1. Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia — 41.9 percent

2. Stanley Johnson, Detroit — 19.4 percent

3. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota — 12.9 percent

T-4. Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver — 9.7 percent

D’Angelo Russell, L.A. Lakers — 9.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento; Trey Lyles, Utah

Which rookie will have the best career?

Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia — 24.1 percent

2. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota — 17.2 percent

T-3. Justin Anderson, Dallas — 13.8 percent

Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver — 13.8 percent

5. Stanley Johnson, Detroit — 8.0 percent

6. Sam Dekker, Houston — 6.9 percent

Others receiving votes: Willie Cauley-Stein, Sacramento; Bobby Portis, Chicago; Kelly Oubre, Washington; Kristaps Porzingis, New York; D’Angelo Russell, L.A. Lakers; Rashad Vaughn, Milwaukee

Picking Okafor for Rookie of the Year doesn’t necessarily mean he should have gone No. 1. The former Duke center is exceptionally polished offensively, and he should fill a big role on the lowly 76ers.

But the “best career” question is essentially asking who should have gone No. 1 – especially considering Towns and Okafor play the same position. Perhaps, a majority of respondents who took a third candidate would have taken Towns over Okafor, changing results of a run-off race. But with the information we have, plurality rules.

The survey also includes other interesting (Mavericks’ Justin Anderson as most athletic), unsurprising (Suns’ Devin Booker as best shooter) and surprising (Rondae Hollis-Jefferson as best defender) responses. Willie Cauley-Stein went No. 6 to the Kings largely based on his ability to guard the interior and exterior. If he’s not elite defensively – and his peers don’t rate him that way, ranking him fourth with 5.9% of votes – questions about his offense and rebounding become more significant.

For the second straight year, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James ranked 1-2-3 as rookies’ favorite players.

Of course, don’t take these responses as gospel. Despite 13.8% of respondents – tied for third most – picking Anderson to have the best career, nobody voted for him as the draft’s biggest steal. How you can think the No. 21 pick will have the best career yet isn’t the draft’s biggest steal is beyond me.