HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

December 14, 2014 Updates

When Lakers (7-16) play the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-17) today at Target Center, Bryant will need to score only nine points to eclipse Jordan’s 32,292 career points for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Unsurprisingly, Bryant’s upcoming milestone has fueled the never-ending comparisons to Jordan, something that has followed Bryant throughout his 19-year career. But Young’s uneasiness to Jordan’s question provided a snapshot on how the current generation of NBA players idolize Bryant the same way the Lakers’ 36-year-old star admires Jordan. “It’s so hard to compare anyone to Michael, but I think it’s fair to say Kobe is the second coming of MJ,” said Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, who grew up watching Bryant while playing for Knight High in Palmdale. “Kobe has transcended the league the same way I felt Michael did.” Los Angeles Daily News

Scott thinks so. "Jordan, back in the day, they said he was a tough guy to play with because he was so demanding," Scott said. "He was punching guys in practice and things of that sort. And Kobe is in that same cloth." Just ask Smush Parker, who once said Bryant told him in practice, "You can't talk to me. You need more accolades under your belt before you come talk to me." ESPN.com

He is also the only person to have served as head coach for both players, at any level, which makes him an almost unquestionable authority on one of the most popular comparisons in all of sports, and all of sports history. But Bryant disputes this claim from Jackson. All of it. "Nah, it's a myth," Bryant said. "Phil likes to say things a lot of times to create good content, to create good stories, as most [reporters] do." ESPN.com

Bryant is early in his 19th NBA season. He doesn't know whether he'll play after his current contract expires following next season, although Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak suspects Bryant will retire. If surpassing Jordan's career points total is Bryant's final milestone on his rise, he'll be grateful to sit alongside one of his heroes. "It's not like a distraction or anything," Bryant said. "It's not like it's (not) going to happen. I just take it all in stride." USA Today Sports

You mention attitude, which is interesting. Most people think your attitude is "stats first, team second." Nick Young: Stats don't mean too much when you're losing. People think all I worry about is my points, but that's not true. I try to go out there and have fun, especially on a team like this, with Kobe Bryant. I have to bring that energy, because he's the tough cop. I'm like Eddie Murphy in 48 Hrs. Every team needs a mix of guys like that, a good balance. Rolling Stone

What's Kobe Bryant like as a teammate? [Laughs] He's not normal. That's one person who's not normal. But he's also not like people think. He rides people, for sure – some people more than others, and some of them can't handle that. But he was the first person who called me when I got injured, he checked in on me. I was kind of touched. He went over plays with me, told me how to recover. I thought that was pretty big. When Kobe calls you, what does it say on your phone? "Mamba?" "Vino?" Oh, it says "Kobe." I make sure I show everybody that number. "It's Kobe calling." Rolling Stone

December 13, 2014 Updates

But with a stated intention of not playing beyond next season, reaching Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 is almost unimaginable for No. 24. In fact, Scott doesn’t see anyone catching Abdul-Jabbar. “I think that’s gonna stand for a while,” Scott said. “I don’t think in our lifetime we’re going to see it being broken. … It’s going to be hard for somebody to break that. They’re going to have to play 20-something years I think to get that one.” Karl Malone is second on the career scoring list with 36,928. Orange County Register

When a reporter told Scott that Nick Young had expressed a desire to be the player to assist on the basket that pushed Bryant past Jordan, the Lakers coach couldn’t suppress a grin and a wisecrack at the shoot-first swingman’s expense. “Nick hasn’t passed all year,” Scott joked. “How’s he going to be the one to pass it to him?” Orange County Register

Young buried his sixth 3-pointer with 7.4 second left in overtime, lifting the Lakers (7-16) to a 112-110 win over the defending-champion Spurs (16-7) at AT&T Center. “I have more confidence in him hitting those shots when guys are draped all over him,” said Bryant, who scored 22 points on 7-of-22 shooting. “He loves hitting those shots.” Bryant is nine points behind Jordan’s 32,292, and seems a lock to move into third on the career scoring list Sunday in Minneapolis. “It’s coming,” said Bryant, who has downplayed his chase of Jordan. “It’s gonna come.” Orange County Register

Kobe Bryant’s voice reached fever pitch. He let out a string of expletives with as much volume as one of his shooting outbursts. He demeaned teammates about their talent and effort. All of which prompted Lakers coach Byron Scott to say, so what? “That’s not the first time he has gone at those guys and it’s not the first time they’ve gone back at him,” Scott said of Bryant’s practice on Thursday that soon went viral. “It wasn’t that big of a deal. To me, it was fun.” Los Angeles Daily News

Premium cable network Showtime has a collaborated with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant to make a documentary that tells the story of how he became the man that he is today. The documentary is set to debut in February of 2015, but an early first-look trailer was released Friday to drum up some early hype. The 16-year veteran spoke with Variety about the documentary. People know me because of what I am, a basketball player. In ‘Muse,’ everyone will begin to understand who I am and how I became who I am. I created this film to open up my journey in hopes of inspiring others as they guide their own.” SheridanHoops

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.