HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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February 17, 2015 Updates

Kobe Bryant: So that's when I decided that—if people were going to like me or not like me—it was going to be for who I actually was. To hell with all that plain vanilla shit, just to get endorsement deals. Those are superficial, anyway. I don't enjoy doing them, anyway. I'll just show people who I actually am.... The [loss of the] endorsements were really the least of my concerns. Was I afraid of going to jail? Yes. It was twenty-five to life, man. I was terrified. The one thing that really helped me during that process—I'm Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic—was talking to a priest. It was actually kind of funny: He looks at me and says, 'Did you do it?' And I say, 'Of course not.' Then he asks, 'Do you have a good lawyer?' And I'm like, 'Uh, yeah, he's phenomenal.' So then he just said, 'Let it go. Move on. God's not going to give you anything you can't handle, and it's in his hands now. This is something you can't control. So let it go.' And that was the turning point." GQ.com

February 16, 2015 Updates

In an advance showing provided to Bleacher Report, Bryant clarified to Rashad that it was not a new injury suffered when Dante Cunningham bumped his shoulder from behind on Bryant's Jan. 21 dunk. It was an injury that got worse—and prompted Bryant to get an MRI that showed how bad it had become. "Even now, the strength in my shoulder's good," he said prior to surgery. "It's fine; I can shoot. I've had this pain for a long time, and I've never actually gotten it looked at because the strength was so good." Bleacher Report

What is clear is that Bryant, who did not appear in New York to speak over the weekend despite being voted to the All-Star team, still has fuel in the tank for another nine-month rally. "I want to see if I can," he said. "I don't know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see." Bleacher Report

Bryant is missing because of injury again—and he figures to be gone for good almost as soon as he comes back. Even though he's the one whose iron will has had to bend to his breaking-down body, Bryant has gotten to gratitude even before the rest of us will next season. "You get older," he said, "you start seeing the beauty that's in that process. … You start trying to find love in that, find the beauty in that—which is completely different than being 21." Bleacher Report

Grant Hill talks with Jordan about Kobe Bryant and how he's been able to stay in the league for so long. MSN

Kobe Bryant craves any edge he can have against an opponent, let alone against his idol, Michael Jordan. So when a a teammate asked him if he would like any feedback on how to match up him shortly before they first squared off nearly 19 years ago, well Bryant was all ears. “Whatever you do,” the unnamed teammate advised, “don’t look him in the eye.” To which Bryant responded, “Why in the hell would I NOT look him in the eye?” Los Angeles Daily News

Bryant has suffered season-ending injuries each of the last three seasons. He tore his Achilles in April 2013 and fractured his knee in December 2013. "I can't say it is the end," Bryant told NBATV. "I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning. So, to answer the question, I can't say this is the end of my era because I thought their (era) was done and they're still there. So I'm hoping I can have the same rebirth." Sports Illustrated

Even though James didn't win his third MVP award, he crept closer to passing Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant as the All-Star Game's all-time leading scorer. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan on Sunday and now has 278 career All-Star points, two behind Bryant. "Any time you're in the conversation with a great is very humbling," James said. "It's an honor. I've just got to keep getting better and better hopefully, and keep understanding how I got here and why I'm here." USA Today Sports

February 15, 2015 Updates

Kobe Bryant: I want MVP. There’s no shame in feeling that way. Why should there be? I want the world to see me dominate the players that are debated by millions of fans as being on my level. Competing with this spirit is fun to me and it kills me that I’m not able to participate this year. I am a spectator from home. As a fan, I can only hope one player decides to take the game on the same way I do and raise its level from the opening tip. Being passive aggressive in this competition means you’re fine with simply going with the flow and unwilling to disturb the calm waters of the game to accomplish your goals. I see that as a weakness. It’s our nature to compete. Throw the ball up and let’s see who the alpha is. The Players' Tribune

McHale played through a number of ankle injuries (that required surgery) and debilitating back pain his last few seasons. He could have retired when Larry Bird did in the summer of 1992, but McHale came back for one more go around, doing so on a team that was clearly not a contender. There was a simple reason for that. “I wanted to go out playing, and we made it to a playoff series and we lost but I went out playing as hard as I possibly could. I found a little magic in a bottle for a couple weeks and played pretty good, then that was the end of it,” said McHale, who averaged 19.6 points per game on 58 percent shooting during that first-round playoff loss to Charlotte in 1993. “It’s hard. You’re used to being able to do things, you’re used to your body responding, and if you’re a good player you’re used to your body bouncing back and doing a lot of stuff. You never really thought it could not hold up, but at some point it goes down.” NBC Sports

Nor should his injuries change Kobe’s style, says Chauncey Billups, another legendary locker-room leader who had to battle through injuries at the end of his career but was brought into teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers to help teach a young team to win. “No, it doesn’t,” Billups told me during All-Star weekend about whether his injuries changed the way he tried to lead. “The way you lead is who you are. It’s who you are no matter if you’re coming to the game in a suit, you’re on the sidelines cheering guys on, or if you’re dressed to play. That’s just who you are, it’s instinctual. “So no, (an injury) doesn’t change the way you lead. Not at all.” NBC Sports

February 12, 2015 Updates

Curry will star in a spree of new TV ads this week for sponsors Unilever, Express and Under Armour. His high profile will help position him as the league's next big athletic endorsement star in the vein of James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. The Golden State Warriors sharpshooter actually beat King James in this year's All-Star fan voting. He also jumped to No. 2 behind James from No. 7 on the NBA's list of best-selling jerseys. Both on the court and on Madison Avenue, Curry will take center stage during the four-day basketball celebration that culminates with TNT's telecast of the 64th NBA All-Star Game from Madison Square Garden Sunday night (7 p.m. ET). AdWeek.com

Kobe Bryant remains someone both fans and reporters want to see and hear from more than almost anyone in the NBA, but Bryant will not be attending the upcoming All-Star Weekend in New York, according to league sources. Bryant is in the early stages after surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, a recovery that is not a pleasant one: considerable ongoing pain and his arm immobilized in a sling. Bleacher Report

February 11, 2015 Updates

While he doesn't harbor ill feelings toward Bryant today, Malone said he's still willing to sort things out between them. "We had a little issue," Malone told host Marc Lamont Hill. "I don't hold grudges ... I love Westerns. I'm old-school Western. Back in the day, when you had a beef, you didn't go get guns and knives ... we just go back in the back with no cameras and knuckle up. Get it over with." Hill pressed Malone if he offered Bryant that route to resolution. "It's a standing offer," Malone said. "Look, I don't want no trouble. I don't have a problem. People say whatever they want to say and that's great. I'm 6-9, 272 [pounds] to be exact. I'm not hard to find. I don't want no trouble. But if something got to go down, I'm not playing fair." Huffington Post

February 10, 2015 Updates

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