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November 24, 2014 Updates

Despite denying it, Kobe Bryant considers it highly important to pass Michael Jordan's career scoring mark. So says one of Bryant's closest ex-teammates. Bryant is only 218 points from passing Jordan for third on the NBA all-time list after scoring 27 on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. "I think that he'll probably just say that it's just another milestone, but it's obvious that Jordan was somebody that Kobe idolized and looked up to," said Nuggets Coach Brian Shaw, who won three championships with the Lakers while helping mentor a barely 20-something Bryant. "I think that would be one of the things that's right up there, when you can kind of get at the same level or surpass somebody of that magnitude and somebody that you patterned your game after. Whether he says it or not, I personally feel that it would be one of his greatest accomplishments." Los Angeles Times

November 23, 2014 Updates

Bryant will make $25 million at 37 years old while Nick Young, Julius Randle and Ryan Kelly take up another $10 million. Various player options (Ed Davis) and team options (Jordan Clarkson, Robert Sacre) could add another $3 million, though Davis could opt out and drive that number even higher. Leave room for an estimated $5 million for their likely two first-round draft picks. It's easy to see the Lakers allocating $43 million toward only nine players amid a conservatively estimated salary cap of $66 million for 2015-16. Throw in troublesome mandatory things called "cap holds" and the Lakers have only $21.5 million to spend next summer on free agents. Los Angeles Times

Scott said he didn’t mince his words with his players Saturday. “It (porous defense) doesn’t set well with me at all,” he said. “I didn’t take it out on them this morning, but I let them know that it doesn’t set well with me. The one thing we are looking for at that end of the floor is consistency. “We talked about the effort and the effort has gotten better, but the consistency every single night we want done and it’s what I’m looking for.” Orange County Register

November 22, 2014 Updates

But in the end, they're bound for the lottery, under construction until further notice, and Bryant and his huge deal are targeted as a key reason for their plight. "Did I take a discount? Yeah," Bryant said after a morning shootaround here, when he discussed his contract more than at any point since signing it. "Did I take as big a discount as some of you fans would want me to? No. "Is it a big enough discount to help us be a contender? Yeah. "So what we try to do is be in a situation where they take care of the player and the player takes care of the organization enough to put us in a championship predicament eventually." ESPN.com

Could a player make $24 million in the NBA's current punitive financial climate (as Bryant does this season) and legitimately say they’re interested in winning? "Yeah, of course, as long as you can convince everybody else that you need to come play for the minimum," Cuban said with a laugh. Cuban has long been poking fun at the Lakers on this topic, once calling them Shaq, Kobe and the "band of merry minimum [-salaried players]" in 2000 during Cuban's first season as an owner. Nowitzki echoed Cuban's point that his deal was about winning, not money. "I wanted to be on a good team," Nowitzki said. "I wanted to compete my last couple of years at the highest level. ESPN.com

November 21, 2014 Updates
 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN LAKERS HISTORY

Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson headline a fantastic list that includes up to 33 NBA champions.

   

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