Raja Bell, who played in the NBA from 1999-2013 and squ…

Raja Bell, who played in the NBA from 1999-2013 and squared off against Kobe Bryant countless times, spoke about the Lillard-Bryant comparison on the latest episode of ‘The Ringer NBA Show’ They both have that ‘killer’ mentality.“I feel like Dame is the closest thing to Kobe that there is in the game. I don’t mean that from the standpoint of the way they look doing it, I’m talking about mentality, where it is always in assassin mode type of thing with them. Their always kind of creating a chip. There is just always something to prove and you feel that when you watch them play, there is the respect that they feel like they have earned and they are not given and the greats have to do that, right? That’s what keeps you on point and keeps you questing for the next thing. He is, for me, a problem. If I had to guard him, I don’t even know really where I would start. The range is what it is and he is shifty and he is sneaky athletic.
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September 24, 2021 | 5:26 am EDT Update

Kristaps Porzingis wanted to be traded at the end of last season?

Kristaps Porzingis is entering his third full season with the Dallas Mavericks and is hoping for a fresh start under Jason Kidd after the team parted ways with Rick Carlisle. “I’ll say this: at the end of last year Porzingis wanted to be traded,” said Tim MacMahon on The Hoop Collective Podcast. “My understanding is he feels like he has a fresh start with the coaching change. He’s had the healthy offseason. He’s been able to work, not just on his game but on his body some more. That he’s coming back with a refreshed feel. “At the end of last year, he wasn’t going to come out and ask for a trade. He’s smart enough to understand the optics.”
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Rob Pelinka: 'We made an aggressive attempt to re-sign Alex Caruso'

The team themselves have never addressed those reports, but during his customary preseason media availability, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka did push back on the sentiment of them nonetheless, disputing the premise of a question about whether keeping Talen Horton-Tucker or Caruso was “an either/or decision” for the team. “We made an aggressive attempt to re-sign Alex Caruso, and we made an aggressive attempt to keep Talen,” Pelinka said on Thursday. “That’s the thing with unrestricted free agency is that you can be in the mix, but players control the ultimate choice.”
“Alex was tremendous here as a championship player, and we’ll be forever grateful for his contributions and his growth,” Pelinka said. “Seeing him go from a G Leaguer, to a two-way (player), to an elite player was something we’ll always be proud of. But he had choices and he chose another team. We pursued him and wanted to keep him, same with Talen, and obviously came to a deal with Talen, and Alex moved on.”
The 6-9 James was listed as weighing 250 pounds last season. Entering his 19th season in the NBA and turning 37 in December, James felt he needed to make a change. “I think the thing that stands out is his fitness level, and he’s slimmed up,” Pelinka said on a videoconference call with reporters Thursday afternoon. “I think … we all know LeBron studies the greats and he adds things into his game and I think going into this stage of his career he’s made a decision to come back a little bit leaner and I think that’s going to translate in explosiveness and quickness.”