KOBE HAPPY FOR EX-RIVAL: As we all remember, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard’s one-year partnership with the Lakers back in 2012-13 didn’t exactly go swimmingly. In fact, it could probably be defined as an abject disaster, one that caused Howard to leave L.A. in free agency that very next offseason.
Well, these days, now that we’re so far removed from that tumultuous period for the two players, and now that Bryant has been out of the NBA for years, the Hall-of-Fame 2-guard is actually happy for his old teammate and the redemptive arc he appears to be on, telling the L.A. Times that he thinks Howard will make a huge impact for the Lakers this year.
JACKIE McMULLAN ON NETS: The ESPN writer has a great piece on the big winner of 2019 Free Agency. Good nuggets on Kyrie Irving’s weirdness here.
MOREY OPENS UP: For the first time since his now-infamous Hong Kong tweet, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has spoken to the media. He declined to discuss the ordeal with China, but he did talk to The Athletic about the drama surrounding the Chris Paul-for-Russell Westbrook swap, and how stressful the transaction was before it was finally agreed upon.
FORMER LOTTERY PICK CHANGES AGENT: 2017’s No. 9 overall pick, Dennis Smith Jr. is changing representation, joining veteran agent Raymond Brothers at Roc Nation. Smith will be eligible for a hefty rookie-scale extension this upcoming summer, and considering how slowly his season has started thus far (prior to him understandably missing time due to the unfortunate passing of his step-mother), it’s probably a good thing he’s teaming up with one of the best agents in the game.
LAME DUCK COACH? It was well-documented over the summer how Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension, which usually puts head coaches squarely on the hot seat. Well, D’Antoni isn’t letting that affect his coaching, nor is he letting his players dwell on it, calling the situation a non-issue. If D’Antoni and the Rockets do end up parting ways, he likely wouldn’t be unemployed for very long.
L.A.-CENTRIC POD: Our very own Alex Kennedy is joined by USA Today Sports’ Mark Medina to discuss the newfound Lakers-Clippers rivalry, among other topics.
DIME-DISHING BIG MAN: Heat center Bam Adebayo has become a dime-dishing savant early in the season, averaging 5.3 assists through three contests. Our Bryan Kalbrosky wrote an in-depth breakdown on the big man’s newfound skills as a distributor, and tried to determine if it’ll be sustainable for Adebayo to keep up this pace.
HIGH-FLYER SIDELINED: We’re not going to see Gerald Green on the court this regular season, as the recovery from his foot surgery will reportedly keep him sidelined for at least six months.
DEAD MONEY: The Milwaukee Bucks owe $21 million to players who are no longer with the team. That’s the biggest amount in the league, even topping Joakim Noah’s Knicks.
DOING SOME GOOD: Sixers swingman Tobias Harris, a huge believer in the importance of school, is donating $1 million to nine non-profit organizations whose focus is on education while unveiling two initiatives that will give resources to teachers and students. Talk about an awesome cause.
HEY, MESSI: Kevin Durant says he would consider playing in Barcelona at the end of his career. You might remember Kobe Bryant said the same thing a few years back, then reportedly turned down an offer from the Spanish powerhouse.
FANCY FANS: A caviar company is creating team logo-branded tins for their food in order to cater to the NBA fans who enjoy eating the delicacy. No, seriously.
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