HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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March 9, 2015 Updates

Bryant has said his recruiting efforts aren't deterred even though Rondo was traded from the rebuilding Celtics squad to the contending Mavericks. "No way," Bryant told the Boston Herald in January. "I'm not done. I'm not stopping until he signs an extension." How does that sit with Rondo? "He's one of the best that's ever played our game," Rondo said. "When he speaks, it speaks volumes. It's an honor and a compliment that he'd want to play with a guy like me. But right now I'm focused on winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks." ESPN.com

Mike Trudell: How does this recovery from your shoulder injury compare to the ones that you suffered the last two seasons with the legs? Kobe Bryant: The Achilles one was horrible. This one’s much, much better. I can move around a lot more and it feels strong. NBA.com

Is this an advantage in that you have your legs available to do stuff in this summer, whereas the last two injuries were a little bit different? Bryant: Yeah, it’s definitely an advantage. I can start running pretty soon and start lifting weights and getting my legs strong, whereas the last few injuries I haven’t been able to do that. NBA.com

Coach Byron Scott said he spoke with Bryant during the team's recent trip and told the 17-time All-Star he wanted to him to attend the team's home games. "I wanted him around," Scott said. "I like seeing him." Bryant, looking dapper in black slacks and a sports coat and an open-collared shirt, sat near the end of the Lakers' bench, occasionally exchanging fist bumps with teammates as they came out of the game. "It was good to see him out here. Good to see him with this teammates," Scott said of Bryant, who will get $23.5 million from the Lakers this season. "I'm sure it was good for the fans to see him as well." Los Angeles Times

March 6, 2015 Updates
March 4, 2015 Updates
March 2, 2015 Updates

Carmelo Anthony hated Battier and he had good reason. Battier had tremendous success against Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant during his career (yet oddly struggled against Jason Richardson) and at least one of his superstar opponents took offense. Battier recalled how much opponents hated going against him, whether it be due to disrespect or dread. “The looks of disdain I got from Carmelo Anthony every time,” Battier recalled. “I didn’t even try to shake his hand.” Sports Illustrated

February 28, 2015 Updates

Directed by Gotham Chopra, the 83-minute film contains a wealth of rarely seen footage that reaches back to Bryant's early childhood in Italy. By turns charming, cocky, remorseful and emotional, the celebrated and divisive superstar probes his past in the film with an openness and candor rarely seen during his 18-year pro basketball career. "I didn't want to write a book — I don't have the patience to do that," Bryant said in a phone interview. "We wanted to create something really different, very truthful. Cinematically, we wanted to do something that would be different from the ways documentaries are shot. This was about doing something that was fun, but also honest." Los Angeles Times

At the core of the project is Bryant's all-consuming passion for basketball, a double-edged sword that drove him to greatness but also often alienated him from teammates, friends and family. Since skipping college and entering the NBA at 18, he had a solitary goal — to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. "This was my life," he declares in the documentary, looking straight at the camera. "You can't possibly become better than me because you're not spending the time on it that I am. Even if you wanted to spend the time, you can't, because you have other things, other responsibilities taking you away from it. So I already won." Los Angeles Times

February 26, 2015 Updates

Kobe Bryant: But the facts are facts. The salary cap is the salary cap. Players aren't going to leave millions and millions of dollars on the table twice to come here and play. It's just not realistic. Wanting LeBron (James) to come here and take a massive pay cut again (last summer), after taking a big one to go to Miami, is not realistic. Melo (Carmelo Anthony) leaving $15-20 (million) on the table to come here is not realistic. So we have certain restrictions, but we'll figure it out. USA Today Sports

Q: You and I talked earlier this season about that concept, the fact that so many people kept assuming you'd want out at some point because of how bad things had gotten (with the present-day Lakers). A: That's not what I do, man. I've got to take the good times with the bad, man. You can't ask to be the leader of the franchise, and then when the franchise hits rough times, you say, "All right, thank you. Peace." USA Today Sports

Kobe Bryant: I tried teaching Dwight. I tried showing him. But the reality is that when you have a perception of what it is to win a championship — and most perceptions of what it's like to win are a very outgoing, very gregarious locker room where you pick each other up and you're friends all the time. That's the perception. And I think that's what his perception was of what the idea is. But when he saw the reality of it, it made him uncomfortable. And it's very tough to be able to fight through that, to deal with that challenge. And I don't think he was willing to deal with that uncomfortable and combative nature. USA Today Sports

Another out-of-left-field one for ya, but have you talked to Lamar Odom lately? Kobe: I have. Q: How is he? Kobe: He's doing good. He's doing good, man. I've talked to him during some of the low times for him, and I think during those moments it's funny how sports can be really impactful because I used what we did as a team, and the toughness and the mental fortitude and shared some stories to kind of remind him of that journey, right? And to take him back to that place, to hopefully get him to find that place again and get himself out of this thing. USA Today Sports

Q: You've talked about how that should even be the case at All-Star Games, where you'd still go after guys. Kobe: Go back and watch the 1988 All-Star game, the '89 All Star game. Those guys competed. They were trying to win, man. And I always tried to do the same thing. ... You understand, when I'm matching up with Vince (Carter) in the All-Star Game, or matching up with Dwyane (Wade) in the All-Star Game, they know I'm coming. Hopefully All-Star Games will get back to that. USA Today Sports

There were 11th-hour edits to make on his new film, a months-long media tour to complete and inspiration to be shared by way of his 90-minute Showtime documentary titled Muse. Kobe being Kobe, he played on — albeit in gray Nike sweats and a black "Kobe" T-shirt. "I've played with a torn shoulder, man," he told USA TODAY Sports this week while sitting inside this second-story bayside suite in which the documentary about his life, premiering Saturday, was mostly produced. "I've played with the flu before, so it's nothing. I'm loaded on medicine ..." USA Today Sports

As Bryant saw it at the time, the story was too safe. Too predictable, like a collection of Wikipedia facts that the world already knew compiled in cinematic form. Thus, Take Two. He scrapped the completed version and they all started anew. "It was finished," Bryant says of the first version of the movie. "And we just shelved it. (Bryant and Chopra) went into the (Showtime) office and said…, 'This is the vision. This is what I want to do with it.' And (they) said, 'all right, go for it.' And we did." USA Today Sports

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