Initially, Williams said he was unsure of whether or not Bryant stands among the “top five of the all-time greatest Lakers.” That take ruffled some feathers, but after his quote started getting some attention around the basketball world, he clarified what he meant. Williams explained that Bryant is indeed the “greatest Laker ever.” He added that he merely believes that there are a handful of better players who have played for the Lakers at some point in their careers, making the argument a little bit muddy. Williams recently spoke about the topic again and offered his latest thoughts. “I said what I said, and I mean what I meant,” Williams said.
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“Kobe Bryant is the greatest Laker of all time, but that doesn’t mean that he’s the greatest basketball player that ever played for the Lakers. You know what I mean? It’s kind of like if I said D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) was better than LeBron [James]. LeBron is a better basketball player than Dwyane Wade, but when you think about the Miami Heat, who do you think of? “… I think there were five better basketball players that played for the Lakers at one time, but that’s not taking anything away from Kobe Bryant. He’s one of the greatest basketball players that’s ever walked the face of this earth.”
Jason Williams: What’s good world?! 💜 So I noticed I kind of stirred the pot so to speak last week with my comments about Kobe. 🙏🏼 I’ve seen some of your comments, but not nearly all of them… Some are positive, some not so positive!!! The anger that some folks have over this conversation is awesome to me cause it means you care!! 🏀 Now with that being said let me explain what I meant last week. First off: KOBE BEAN BRYANT is the greatest ✨LAKER✨ EVER!!! PERIOD!!! 💯 In the conversation you all heard, my thinking was that we were talking about ALL the greatest NBA players EVER who wore the Laker purple and gold jersey for at least ONE season. I wasn’t talking about the greatest LAKER ever… because of course that’s Kobe!!! Kobe IS the Lakers!!! 💛💜 But in what I was saying, I was thinking about WILT, KAREEM, MAGIC, SHAQ, LEBRON… (That’s my top 5 players who ever played in a Laker jersey *in no particular order* in case y’all wondering!)… those players who—in my opinion—were/are better than KOBE!! That’s just my opinion! Doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s a fact!! 🤷🏼♂️ So my bad if I’ve hurt any of y’all feelings, it’s just my opinion!!! I love this game and I respect this game!! It has nothing to do with Kobe bustin my team’s ass just about every time we played them either. 👏🏼 Really the only difference between my opinion and y’all opinion is that I just happened to play against some of these dudes we talkin about and that’s it!! And I’ll do ya one better… The people I’ve named are way above my talent level!!!! Legends!! GOATs!!! 🐐🏆
Jason “White Chocolate” Williams is wrong … Kobe Bryant’s not only in the top five greatest Lakers of all time — he’s number one! … that’s according to former Los Angeles Lakers center (and former Kobe teammate) John Salley, who tells TMZ Sports there is no better Laker ever than the Black Mamba. “Kobe is the greatest Laker of all time,” Salley said outside of LAX this week.
Williams didn’t elaborate on why … but he said he knew the opinion would ruffle feathers. Salley wasn’t pissed about the former NBA point guard’s hot take — but he made it clear to us, Kobe is his No. 1 all-time. “When you say greatest Laker, I’m just going to go with Jerry West, then it was Magic Johnson,” the four-time champion said. “And then, 20 years of Kobe changed the whole attitude.”
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August 14, 2022 | 9:22 pm EDT Update
Any team looking to acquire Micic would have to give Oklahoma City some draft compensation—preferably a first-rounder, though it’s possible the price could have been brought down. “I think that was where it was a little too much for teams,” one Western Conference executive said. “No one wanted to give up a pick plus everything else it would take. The guy can play, I think he’d be good in the NBA. But no one wanted to give up picks and money for him.”
First, there was Micic himself. To ditch Efes and head to the NBA, Micic wanted a few things—a salary in the $6-7 million per year range, a starting spot (or, at least, starter-type minutes), and a role with a contending team. That eliminated a chunk of NBA interest off the bat.
“I knew what the move was,” Hyland told The Denver Post last week via Zoom. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”
If he’s going to become a staple of Denver’s crunch-time rotation, simultaneously earning trust from coach Michael Malone, Hyland knows he needs to become a more consistent two-way player. “I think it’s moreso the defensive part, but I know I can guard,” he said. “I wasn’t the player this year who got picked on. When I put my mind to it, I know I can guard. … That’s just something I gotta do and be willing to do every possession.”