Michael Cooper Rumors
Black: Michael Cooper was 40 at the time, and he had been retired a few years but he was still a freak. Still wiry. Still in great shape. Cooper at 40 was like a normal person at 25. Larry Bird is on record saying Cooper was the most difficult guy he ever played against in his career, the toughest guy to ever defend him. And there’s Jerry saying to him, “Don’t take it easy on this kid. Make him work as hard as you can.” Michael Cooper, Lakers guard, 1978-1990: I thought I was going to go out there and whip his ass, to tell you the truth. That was my thought. I was like, OK, look, I don’t give a f— how old I am, I’m not gonna let some f—ing guy do anything.
Michael Cooper: And boy was I brought back to reality quick. In a hurry I found out that 40 and 17 don’t go together on the court. At the very beginning, I got right in there and got my hands right up in his face. Guys hate that, especially young guys. He just rose up over my hand like I wasn’t even there. I was planning on him not being that strong and that he’d be intimidated. This is an unfair comparison to this young man because I really like him, this LaMelo Ball kid in Charlotte, 19 years old he comes out to the NBA and you see his little, frail body — Kobe didn’t have that frail body at that age.
Michael Cooper: He did kick me in the nuts one time with his leg, and I was mad about that. But that was it. I was banging on him. I was hitting him with my forearm and he was banging me right back. I hit him hard one time, in the kidney and it was a cheap shot, on purpose. It was just that he was backing me down, backing me down and so I hit him. He felt it, you could tell. I said, “Hey man, sorry about that,” but Kobe was so focused on the workout he was like, “No, no, no problem, Coach, let’s go.” When he’d hit me with an elbow he would say, “Oh, oh, I’m sorry,” and I said, “Quit treating me like an old man.” But no, Kobe didn’t talk. And it was a good thing. Jerry hated that. He always said, why are you fraternizing with the enemy out there? Why are you talking to the enemy when you should be trying to kick their ass? No, Kobe had one thing on his mind: He wanted to play in Los Angeles.
Paul Pierce, Doug Collins, Michael Cooper and Lauren Jackson headline the group of first-time nominees for the 2021 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class, announced Tuesday on ESPN’s The Jump. Also joining the first-time group is Howard Garfinkel, Lou Henson, Val Ackerman and Yolanda Griffith, to go with popular returning candidates Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Richard Hamilton, Becky Hammon, Swin Cash and Ben Wallace.
Lakers legend and 5-time NBA Champion Michael Cooper believes this is the first of many titles to come for the storied franchise. The Lakers earned championship number 17 during the 2020 season, but have a foundation in place to to contend for more championships so long as they stay healthy. Michael Cooper recently joined ClutchPoints’ Battle for LA Podcast with Tomer Azarly to talk about the Lakers championship run and give his hot take on how many titles they can win, among other topics. “If they go on and win this, I think they definitely have to be recognized as going down in the Lakers’ lore of great teammates that has one championship,” Cooper told ClutchPoints before Game 6 of the NBA Finals. “I do believe this and I’m gonna make a bold prediction — when the Lakers win a championship now, they’ll win three in a row. I see that they’ll gonna have some replacement, see people coming in, there’s gonna be player and personnel moves.”
“I think three-peat, I really do believe it,” Cooper added. “I don’t really see anybody that’s gonna give them problems, and I think what has happened in the NBA in the last year or two is when Houston started this with the small ball thing, I think the Lakers have killed that off with [Anthony Davis], Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and LeBron. They’re too big for these teams now. “Look at what the Lakers did to the Denver Nuggets and you gotta credit that team with what they’ve done from as far as coming back vs. Utah, 3-1 beating the Clippers, 3-1 and then holding that hole against the Lakers. What wore them down was the Lakers height and I think that’s what’s gonna happen. When teams win championships, everybody’s gonna look at the top and say, ‘what we do we have to do to beat them?’”