HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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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
February 9, 2015 Updates

James recalled reacting to Bryant’s latest injury the same way when he tore his left Achilles on April, 2013. Bryant rehabbed for eight months before playing only six games because of a season-ending left knee injury. “He’s a good friend of mine and a great competitor,” James said. “To see him have to sit out again and go through another eight-plus months of rehab is tough.” Los Angeles Daily News

Yet, Cavaliers forward Kevin Love expressed optimism Bryant will return for the 2015-16 campaign in what will mark his 20th NBA season in the final year of his contract worth $25 million. “Kobe’s not one to go out quietly,” Love said. “He’s going to fight that head on and try to come back. He has that ‘never-quit’ attitude. I assume he’ll come back as strong as he can.” Los Angeles Daily News

February 8, 2015 Updates

Dean Smith has died at 83, the University of North Carolina has announced. “Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” said his family in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.” The Big Lead

February 7, 2015 Updates
February 6, 2015 Updates
February 5, 2015 Updates

But this was not a time for Bryant to reflect on his injury that currently requires him wearing a sling to protect his shoulder. Or for Bryant to lament the Lakers’ current struggles. Or for him to provide optimism on the future bout about the Lakers’ rebuilding and his own recovery. Bryant appeared Wednesday night on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” where the two reflected on how they both made an interesting beer run at a party back when they first emerged in their respective field and just settled in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Daily News

Kobe is the best player I've ever played against—period, point blank. He's a scary sight. Back on Feb. 22, 2005—my rookie season—he fouled me out. I had six fouls in eight minutes. Luckily in the 2010 Finals, I did a good job of making things difficult for Kobe, making him shoot close to 30 shots per game and holding him to 21 points in one game. While the Lakers won Game 7, I felt good after that, after going against Paul every day in practice and then getting the opportunity to stick Kobe for the national championship. I told myself, No matter what the name is, I'm going to take pride in defense and I'm going to try to be the best at it. I haven't looked back since. Bleacher Report

February 2, 2015 Updates

Bryant has had his last three seasons cut short because of injuries. He hasn't officially said it yet, but people familiar with his thinking are confident he will return for the final season of his contract. He will turn 37 in August and stand to collect $25 million next season. "Oh, he'll be back," Anthony said. "He's going to prove to everybody that he's coming back. He'll be back for sure." Los Angeles Times

February 1, 2015 Updates

Derek Fisher takes what's happening to Kobe Bryant to heart: His former Lakers teammate is sidelined for the third season in a row after a slew of serious injuries. But Fisher also said this: Don't count Kobe out. "I definitely almost take it personally," the Knicks' coach said of Bryant, who recently had surgery for a torn rotator cuff and will sit out the rest of the season. "There are very few people who can stay committed to the process of coming back . . . [and] I spoke to him recently and he's just as determined to come back from this one. His mind doesn't see it any other way, and that's the way you have to be." Newsday

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