HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

December 20, 2014 Updates

He pump-faked Andre Roberson into the air but couldn't connect on an off-balance 17-footer. Bryant then took off an athletic sleeve he wore on his left arm and threw it in frustration behind him. He finished with nine points. "I don't have my legs," Bryant said, adding he got a clean look before his last shot. "It's frustrating." Ryan Ward: Kobe Bryant: “It was the shot I wanted to get. I was trying to figure out if I had time to draw contact. It just threw me off a little bit.” Twitter @Lakers_Examiner

December 19, 2014 Updates
December 18, 2014 Updates
December 17, 2014 Updates

The field hardly pays as much as the $48.5 million the Lakers’ star will make through the 2015-16 season. But Bryant wrote a first-person essay for The Players Tribune about recently passing Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Bryant insisted it took him only 30 minutes to write the article on the team plane following his milestone performance in Sunday’s win in Minneapolis. Bryant also said no one proofread it. “I had a really really good creative writing teacher in high school,” said Bryant, who attended Lower Merion, a suburban school outside Philadelphia. Los Angeles Daily News

That explains why Mastriano eventually supported Bryant jumping from high school directly to the NBA 19 years ago. “I was skeptical at the time. But once he made the decision, I was 100 percent behind him to the point that I had argued with faculty about it,” Mastriano said. “People don’t have to go to college. If people go to college, they should have a reason. Kobe Bryant convinced me he made the right decision to go into the professional realm because he wanted to play against the best. That’s what he loves and that’s how he wanted to learn.” Los Angeles Daily News

Of course, Dirk Nowitzki has always been a big fan of Bryant, who now sits in the No. 3 spot among the league’s all-time scoring leaders with 32,331 career points. “He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe. ESPN.com

While Durant wasn't specifically addressing his own uncertain future, he insisted that the player perspective relating to Bryant shouldn't be a hindrance as the 8-17 Lakers continue their laborious turnaround. "Excuse my language, but that's (expletive)," said Durant, who congratulated Bryant via text message after he surpassed Jordan on Sunday. "I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I'd want to play with a guy like that every day. ... (His style) may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think (the accusation) is BS." USA Today Sports

"Just his work ethic, just his demeanor man," Durant said when asked what he admired about Bryant. "He doesn't mind being an (expletive), and he comes to work man. He's intense. He demands a lot out of his teammates, and I've seen that just playing alongside him in the Olympics (in 2012). He demands a lot out of everybody. He makes them better. Everybody out on the court. You've got to respect that. As a player, I study guys like that. We might not have the same personality, but I think we approach the game the same way and I've learned a lot from just watching him." USA Today Sports

December 16, 2014 Updates
December 15, 2014 Updates

Last night, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, moving into third place behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After the game, Kobe sat down and wrote his thoughts on the historic moment for The Players’ Tribune: Zero. That’s the number of points I scored the entire summer while playing in Philadelphia’s Sonny Hill Future League when I was 12 years old. I didn’t score. Not a free throw, not an accidental layup, not even a lucky throw-the-ball-up-oops-it-went-in basket. The Players' Tribune

“Yeah, it was a strange feeling, because I remember being Andrew Wiggins,” Bryant said. “I remember playing against Michael my first year. To be here tonight and to play against him, seeing the baby face and the little footwork or little technique things that he’s going to be much sharper at as time goes on -- it was like looking at a reflection of myself 19 years ago. It was pretty cool.” ESPN.com

With a pair of free throws in the second quarter of the Lakers game on Sunday, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. To celebrate, the Lakers decorated his seat and brought him a cake on the flight home — a sweet gesture for the star. He looked … sort of happy? Definitely not as happy as we would look if someone had brought us cake — or as many of his teammates whose eyes follow the cake to Bryant’s seat do. For The Win

Ramona Shelburne: Kobe is some 4000 points away from Malone and 6000 points from KAJ. I asked him after the game if he'd play long enough to catch either one. Kobe laughed & said, "Oh my god. Do you have any idea how much my body hurts day to day? I’m no spring chicken. It’s good to be out here." Twitter @ramonashelburne

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