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September 29, 2014 Updates

The Nets point guard, who admittedly struggled with his confidence a year ago, fell under heavy scrutiny last season because he went scoreless in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Miami. Bryant chimed in on the subject in a Sports Illustrated article last month, saying Williams “psyched himself out” because he only took nine shots that game and “I would go 0-for-30 before I went 0-for-9.” New York Daily News

“I understand Kobe and all those guys, ‘I’m going to do this, the next shot is going in.’ That’s great confidence but it doesn’t matter if you don’t make the next shot,” Hollins said. “I just want Deron to play good basketball. There are a lot of expectations on him. I don’t know the reasons why — the status he had when he was playing here, the contract. Whatever it may be, Deron Williams is a very good basketball player and Deron Williams is going to prove that this year with this team. And you guys are going to love him. Or respect him. “To say that nobody has doubt, nobody ever thinks that things are not gonna work out are untrue because we’re all human and we’re not perfect humans,” Hollins added. “So I really would hope that as we go along that you guys — we’re talking about embracing (expectations) or not embracing — I would hope you guys would embrace Deron for his play on the court and that be all it is without the expectations that he’s supposed to. New York Daily News

September 28, 2014 Updates

PG: There’s your Showtime documentary, “Kobe’s Muse,” in November. What’s that? KB: You’ll see all the things I do, on and off the court. Every little detail, every tidbit, every improvement. And from that, we peel back the layers to get to who I am — because you can’t understand what I do without understanding who I am. PG: Sounds like a series. KB: That’s the vision. I’m the first “Kobe’s Muse,” then we’ll build it out. I want to know how Arianna became Arianna. I had this conversation with Hilary Swank once, and I asked about acting. And she broke down her process all the way to what would the character be watching on TV, what music would she listen to, how much money in her purse, how much change. I’m so interested in all those details. New York Times

PG: As a lens for understanding each other? KB: Exactly. I’ll give you an example. When you watch me shoot my fadeaway jumper, you’ll notice my leg is always extended. I had problems making that shot in the past. It’s tough. So one day I’m watching the Discovery Channel and see a cheetah hunting. When the cheetah runs, its tail always gives it balance, even if it’s cutting a sharp angle. And that’s when I was like: My leg could be the tail, right? New York Times

PG: Speaking of breaking things down, I noticed, reading “Thrive,” that the pillars of wellness must be second nature to athletes, who are all about peak performance. You meditate? AH: Every day. KB: [N.B.A. coach] Phil Jackson introduced me to it. When I was 18, Michael Jackson tried to get me to meditate. He could sit in meditation for seven hours. But I couldn’t sit still for 20 minutes. PG: Michael Jackson? KB: Yeah. “Thriller” Michael Jackson. New York Times

September 27, 2014 Updates

Could Randle play small forward in the NBA? Kupchak wouldn't commit to the notion, although he did say that Randle wouldn't be a liability defensively at the three. "He can defend small forwards. Do I see him right now as the prototypical small forward? Probably not," Kupchak said. "But I could see him bringing the ball up the court. I could see him seeing a gap, getting a step on a guy and making a play -- whether it's finishing or finding somebody that's open. Those are ball-handling skills that you wouldn't see power forwards have very often." Los Angeles Times

September 26, 2014 Updates

Jeremy Lin of the Los Angeles Lakers joined the Whistle Sports Network, bringing his YouTube channel with almost 400,000 subscribers to the sports-focused digital media platform started eight months ago. Lin, a Harvard University graduate and the first Taiwanese-or Chinese-American to play in the National Basketball Association, said the partnership will help expand his YouTube presence and interaction with fans. Bloomberg

September 25, 2014 Updates

Q: Players in other sports you admire? Phil Jackson: I admire Peyton Manning because of his headiness, his ability to play under control, his understanding of the game, his dedication to the sport…We’ve all watched Derek [Jeter], I’m sure people are just relishing in the last few games they’re getting to watch him play, but he’s had a wonderful, remarkable career… Kobe Bryant obviously is in my sport, but there’s nobody that’s more dedicated to conditioning and preparation and self-control and…absorbing the pain of all that workout than Kobe Bryant. New York Post

 

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