HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

October 20, 2014 Updates

Before LeBron James opened up one of the most anticipated training camps of his celebrated career, there was a phone call he wanted to make. James might have been preparing for his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he knew that some 2,400 miles away Kobe Bryant was preparing to make a return of his own -- back to NBA action after playing just six games last season because of a torn Achilles in his right leg and a fractured bone in his left knee. "I love Kobe," James said Friday before the Cavs hosted the Dallas Mavericks. "I love his competitive nature. I love competing against him. I talked to him before the season just to say it's great to have him back. Like I said about [Kevin] Durant and a couple of guys, our league doesn't seem right with certain guys not in uniform." ESPN.com

It hasn't been a triumphant return thus far, however, as the Lakers are 1-3 in their exhibition schedule. They dropped their past two games by an average of 37 points. And despite Bryant's positive production, he is shooting just 39 percent from the field. "I know that he doesn't enjoy the rebuilding phase, especially at this point in his career," James said. "But one thing about him -- he's going to give it his championship effort every night, and you have to understand that when you're competing against him." ESPN.com

October 19, 2014 Updates

He’s player that Snyder respect so much that he declined to speculate how he will fare after appearing in only six games because of overlapping injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. Snyder also wished Bryant’s “good health” after expressing gratitude for the observations he shared on the bench. “He’s someone who taught me a lot about the NBA, just with the way the game has evolved and played,” Snyder said. “It has shaped me.” Los Angeles Daily News

October 18, 2014 Updates

Another person with high expectations for Randle is Kobe Bryant, who compared Scott’s decision to rest Randle in the second half to when Bryant broke his wrist in 1999, which caused him to miss the season’s first 15 games. “I think that’s all part of the process,” Bryant said. “I remember a big year for me (was) when I got hurt in Phil’s (Jackson) first year here and I had the chance the chance to watch and observe and sit next to Tex (Winter) and really study the game from that perspective. So there are myriad ways to learn. It doesn’t just have to be on the court.” NBA.com

“He wanted to pretty much retire together,” Gasol said of Bryant. “That was an attractive option. One part of me wanted to stick with him and try to turn it around. But deep inside of me, I felt it was time after everything that I’d been through that I wanted to put myself in a position where I was highly stimulated. Kind of change directions a little bit, fresh start and get going again.” Washington Post

Each and every year, ESPN ranks the top 500 players in the NBA. 36-year-old Kobe Bryant, who missed 76 games last year, was ranked No. 40, his lowest ranking since ESPN started #NBARank — but Kobe isn’t bothered by his spot in the lineup. “I’ve known for a long time they’re a bunch of idiots…. I tend to use things as motivation that tend to be in the realm of reality.” For The Win

October 17, 2014 Updates

LeBron James said he spoke to Kobe Bryant prior to the start of training camp, welcoming him back to the NBA after he missed all but six games with the Los Angeles Lakers last season due to a knee injury. "I love Kobe, I love his competitive nature," James said prior to the Cleveland Cavaliers' preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks Friday night. "I love competing against him and I talked to him before the season and just said how it's great to have him back. Like I said about (Kevin) Durant and a couple guys our league doesn't seem right with certain guys not in uniform." On Wednesday, James said he had reached out to Oklahoma City's Durant via text message to console him after breaking his foot over the weekend – which could cost Durant two months. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Bryant is entering his 19th pro season; James is in his 12th. The Lakers and Cavaliers appear to be heading in opposite directions, with Los Angeles seeking to rebuild in Bryant's final years while Cleveland is positioned to contend for championships in James' prime. "I know he doesn't enjoy kind of the rebuilding phase, especially at this point in his career," James said. "One thing about him, he's going to give it his championship effort every night. And you have to understand that when you're competing against him." Cleveland Plain Dealer

October 16, 2014 Updates
October 14, 2014 Updates

Roughly one week into training camp Bryant called Gaffney down to the Lakers training facilities in El Segundo. “We’re gonna start playing one-on-one. I heard you’re a defensive lockdown player. So, lock me down,” he told the youngster. “Obviously easier said than done,” Gaffney chuckled, “but for about three weeks in a row I was forced to show up hours before practice to play one-on-one against Kobe.” Bryant would invent various sets of rules where he could only dribble and score with his weak hand; some days he could only score inside the paint, others only from outside. Oh, “and I never got to play offense,” said Gaffney. Basketball Insiders

“There was no difference with Lakers except no matter how early I showed up for practice — it wasn’t early enough. Kobe was on the court with three trainers doused in sweat.” If the Lakers had a 10:30 morning practice, Bryant would be in the gym at 06:00, take his daughters Natalia and Gianna to school at 08:00, then come back around 09:00 to shoot some more. “No one would have any idea that he’s been in the gym working for 3-4 hours,” Gaffney exposed. Basketball Insiders

The Lakers had checked in at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where Gaffney had his rookie initiation party. “L.A. made it clear that I made the team. I was the last player cut at morning shootaround on opening night against the Clippers,” he explained. “I walked into the high-stakes room but I didn’t have any money. I then saw Kobe, he was watching some guys throw some money around before he turns to me and says, ‘what are you doing here rook?' Next thing I know,” Gaffney recalled, “Kobe throws his black card on the table and hands me 10 stacks ($10,000). What I really wanted to do at the time was just put it in my pocket and run. Sure enough, an hour later it was all gone.” Basketball Insiders

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