HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

May 15, 2014 Updates

Since declaring for the NBA draft, Exum has been working out in Los Angeles, and has had the opportunity to be on the floor with Bryant, who is still recovering from the knee injury that ended his season after just six games. “I have talked to Kobe, I have seen him workout a couple of times,” Exum said. “He is just getting back and stuff. But I am definitely planning on talking to him because I am in a similar position as he was when he was getting drafted. … "He is just getting back into the swing of things. It was just really light shooting, but it was pretty cool to watch.” Sporting News

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak says the lines of communication between himself and Kobe Bryant are open, but that doesn't mean that the star guard will get a say in who the team hires as its next head coach. "From time to time we ask his advice," Kupchak told ESPN's Andy Katz at the NBA draft combine in Chicago on Thursday. "He really won't weigh in on something like this. I'm not even sure that we'll talk to him prior to interviews. But from time to time, he is in our facility, I'll go downstairs and I'll talk to him about a bunch of different things." ESPN.com

May 12, 2014 Updates

Q: You’ve been criticized for the contract extension that was given to Bryant. How does it factor into the way you build this team over the next two seasons, with salary cap implications and so on, and how would things look different if you’d given him less money? Mitch Kupchak: When we gave Kobe the extension, we took a lot of factors into consideration, including the factors you just mentioned. We felt it was the thing to do. We’re still in a position to be a big player in the free agent market. Signing Kobe when we did, we felt, gave us one of the top two or three free agents that would be available this summer. We had the rare opportunity to get that done and not have to wait until July 1. Everybody can debate whether they would have waited or not, but our mindset was: ‘This is somebody we can get done now, and we still have a chance to be a player financially with free agency.’ Cap space is valuable and you don’t want to misuse it. You do have to use it, but you don’t have to use it going forward unless you want to. NBA.com

May 11, 2014 Updates

Second, the coach must be able to coexist with Bryant. The Bryant-D’Antoni relationship deteriorated to the point where the pair barely spoke by the end of their tenure together. Even in D’Antoni’s first season in L.A., when the Lakers still managed to win 28 of their final 40 games to make the playoffs, there was conflict. ESPN.com

Bryant would often use the Lakers’ shootaround time to receive treatment in the training room. When D’Antoni thought this was causing a disconnect between Bryant and his teammates, the coach asked the star guard to change his routine, according to a league source. As a compromise, Bryant still often used shootaround for treatment, only he had the training table brought out next to the practice court so he was physically present, technically, during the sessions. After playing such a long time at an elite level, it was understandable for Bryant to need extra time to get his body ready, but it led to occasions on the court where the team would be executing one way based on adjustments made during shootaround that morning -- and Bryant would be executing another. ESPN.com

May 10, 2014 Updates
May 9, 2014 Updates
May 8, 2014 Updates
May 6, 2014 Updates
May 3, 2014 Updates

Bryant told the Lakers several weeks ago that he didn’t want to play for D’Antoni next season when he returns from a knee injury. D’Antoni also knew of the team’s plans for the re-signing of Gasol this summer when he becomes a free agent. So if he had stayed on, it promised to get ugly quickly and he probably wouldn’t have lasted past Thanksgiving. Once his brother Dan left his seat on the Lakers’ bench and took the Marshall University head coaching job on April 24, that was the biggest tip-off that Mike was done and working on a deal to get out of L.A. In Mike D’Antoni’s previous coaching stints, in Phoenix and New York, Dan was always by his side. New York Daily News

May 1, 2014 Updates

Bryant actually considered signing with the Clippers as a free agent in 2004 when the Dunleavy coached there. “I think I have a good relationship with Kobe,” Dunleavy said. “I recruited him a number of years ago to come to the Clippers. I think at the time I had a good argument for it and I think we were very close to getting him to shift at that time. We had built a great nucleus with the Clippers and I think if he had come we could have won a championship.” Los Angeles Daily News

To this point, sources say, Bryant has not made any coaching suggestions, but the Lakers are expected to consult the 35-year-old on the matter as he prepares to return from a 2013-14 season in which he was limited to just six games because of Achilles and knee issues. Bryant's two-year, $48.5 million extension kicks in next season. ESPN.com

Bryant will wish for Tom Thibodeau to free himself from Chicago. He loves Jeff Van Gundy, and shares management's affinity for Euro legend Ettore Messina, who spent a season on Mike Brown's staff. Yahoo! Sports

April 30, 2014 Updates
April 29, 2014 Updates

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