HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

October 25, 2014 Updates

Though Bryant viewed Dwight Howard's free-agent departure in 2013 as "a positive," according to a person close to him, the Lakers barely got this past summer's prime free agents, James and Anthony, to give the franchise a passing thought. Why is that? CBSSports.com

Bryant, for example, wanted to incorporate Olympic lifts into his comeback routine, movements that he hadn't done consistently for about 10 years. DiFrancesco objected, saying that for a long-levered, aging athlete like Bryant, the technical, explosive movements like the clean-and-jerk and snatch didn't fit his criteria for a simple, low-risk, high-reward program. Bryant wouldn't budge. He told DiFrancesco to write a report explaining his reasoning and deliver it to him the next day. DiFrancesco did; Olympic lifts were out. Bryant won't reveal, and won't let anyone else reveal, his body composition results or what combination of exercises he did. The way he did them was much more telling, anyway. CBSSports.com

Through all the platitudes, a complicated figure finds himself hemmed in by his own reality. There, in a quiet corner of the practice court, I asked him, "How do you know that your body won't let you down again?" "I don't," he said. "How do you deal with that?" "I accept it," he said. "It could happen at any moment, right?" CBSSports.com

October 24, 2014 Updates
October 23, 2014 Updates

Abbott’s piece de resistance is a rarely-attempted defense of Jim Buss, suggesting that he gave Bryant that $48.5 million last winter—before Kobe played, after which he came back and lasted six games—to avoid a public squabble over a new contract. Actually, Jeanie Buss made that call, not her brother. After losing Howard, they were terrified of losing Kobe, although at his pay scale, he had nowhere to go. The real key for the Buss kids was it was what their father did, as in 1991 when he gave Magic Johnson a one-year $14.6 million extension, bigger than half the NBA payrolls at the time. Forbes.com

D’Antoni’s problem was being in the wrong place at the wrong time but by then, bringing him back would have been another terrible blunder. If D’Antoni hadn’t made picking up his 2015-16 option a precondition for returning, he would be coaching today. As high-maintenance superstars go, Kobe is sadder but wise. Among peers, he’s now almost one of the guys. James, leery of him before they began playing together on Olympic teams, is now a friend. Forbes.com

Mike Bresnahan: Kobe Bryant will not play the Lakers' last two exhibition games. He's going to rest. Opener is next Tuesday vs. Houston. Twitter @Mike_Bresnahan

October 22, 2014 Updates

The ESPN article, quoting anonymous sources, framed Bryant as someone who alienated potential free agents and teammates. After scoring 27 points during the Lakers’ 114-108 overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns at Honda Center in Anaheim, Bryant addressed the story that ran on Monday. “It’s not the first one, it’s not going to be the last one,” Bryant said. “The one thing I’ve come to understand over the years is that you’ll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it’s the end of the world. It seems like everybody is taking shots at you. Los Angeles Times

“But time goes by, and then you look back and it’s just a Monday. Right? Then have another great story that comes out maybe a month later or something like that and it’s a fantastic story. And then there’s a bad story that comes out a month after that. “It’s a cycle. And things are never as good or as bad as they seem at the moment in time. So you stay focused on the big picture. Things are never really as bleak as they seem at the time. I just kind of roll with it.” Los Angeles Times

Oscar Schmidt was the band you loved fiercely and could never convince anyone else was the greatest thing on earth. Oscar Schmidt was indie rock. Kobe’s call? “No question,” he says, “he would have been one of the greatest.” In ’95, after a short, unsatisfying stint in Spain, Schmidt finally came home. He spent his last few years at Flamengo, an all-sports club and a dynasty — the Yankees of Brazil. There, in his forties, he made the best money of his career. How did he manage at such an advanced age? “I don’t waste my energy,” he says. “I start to have more precision.” He smiles. “And I start to defend only in the second half.” Grantland

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