Tag:Kobe Bryant
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Kobe Bryant taking pain shot every game

By Matt Moore

It's easy to criticize Kobe Bryant for his shooting so far this season. His shooting percentage is the lowest it has been since his rookie year. He's shot L.A. out of several games, but also dropped a brilliant performance on Tuesday against the Rockets. In total, though, it's been a really rough season for him on and off the court. But there is no question the guy is the toughest son of baller on the planet. The Orange County Register has a piece Thursday on the terrible toll the torn ligament in his wrist has had on the Black Mamba. It's not pretty:  
These days, over Bryant's right wrist also rests a fat postgame ice wrap roughly the size of rookie guard Andrew Goudelock, Bryant trying in vain to minimize swelling after acting on the court as if there isn't a torn ligament in there.

Bryant has been taking a numbing injection to that wrist before every game in hopes of performing normally. Yes, it's that bad.

He does not want to publicize all the details of his wrist, which is usable only because the bones were not moved permanently out of alignment without the ligament to hold them in place. But it's now clear just how problematic the wrist is, and it's fair to wonder where all this will take Bryant.

Bryant walked out of Staples Center on Tuesday night with something that looked like an oven mitten over his right hand and wrist. He wears an immobilizing brace over the wrist when off the court, meaning take-for-granted parts of life such as texting on his phone or zipping his fly become rather challenging.
via Wrist injections keeping Kobe’s drive alive | bryant, brown, wrist - Sports - The Orange County Register.
 
Dude can't zip his fly! And he's shooting on it! He's shooting in an NBA game without the ability to zip his fly. That's pretty much the craziest thing we've read about Bryant's devotion... this week. 

Beyond the impressive dedication, however, is the sobering reality that Bryant was looking forward to finally being healthy. His knee is better than it has been in years after an experimental procedure. His pinky was finally healed. And now the wrist looks like it may be a problem throughout the entire year. He can't rest it, he has to play on it. And as long as it's this bad, he's going to be amazing some nights, and really struggle the next. How he adapts to that reality will determine how far the Lakers go this year. 
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:40 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 6:43 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: I'm not going to shoot less

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-bryant-power-balance

40-for-104.

That's what Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant is shooting through five games, a figure that includes a 6-for-28 performance during a Sunday night loss to the Denver Nuggets and a 6-for-18 performance in a Saturday win over Denver.

Bryant is battling a torn wrist ligament, but ESPNLA.com reports that he is adamant that he's getting his shots, no matter what.
"I do what I do. If guys are open, I kick it to them, if they're not, I shoot it," Bryant said. "I play my game."

"We always start inside-out," Bryant said, when asked about Bynum and Pau Gasol's effectiveness on offense. "If you mean (to ask me) if I'm going to shoot less, the answer is no. It starts with me. I do what I do and we play off of that. That's not going to change."
One of the more remarkable NBA stats: Bryant has attempted at least 20 shots a game in 10 of the last 11 seasons, including each of the last seven. He's led the NBA in field goal attempts in four of the last six years and is currently more than 2,000 attempts ahead of Kevin Garnett, who is second on the field goal attempts list for active players. By the end of the 2012-2013 season, barring a debilitating injury, Bryant will be No. 3 on the all-time attempts list, passing former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan. 

The numbers agree: Bryant couldn't be more correct in saying that he does what he does. He will shoot the ball, whether he's on a championship team or a non-contender, whether he's surrounded by stars or role players, whether it's fall, winter, spring or summer. He is, without argument, an all-time great when it comes to attempting shots.

The emergence of Lakers center Andrew Bynum, which has been impressive, won't change that. New Lakers coach Mike Brown isn't about to request a new approach from Bryant. The wrist injury is unlikely to change his approach; the only way it will limit Bryant if it keeps him off the court completely. 

In an ideal world, one primed for offensive efficiency, Bryant would take either less shots or higher percentage shots. But that type of ideal world would also involve a time machine that brings back forward Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks, where he was traded in a hurried salary dump after he expressed discontent when he found himself in trade rumors. With Odom gone, the temptation for Bryant, 33, to go into gun-first, gun-often mode is simply too powerful. Given the available fourth scoring options -- Metta World Peace, Steve Blake -- it's tough to blame him.

Certainly, there's a threshold for shooting too much. Even though he's leading the league in attempts again, Bryant hasn't crossed the line. Here's the benchmark: as long as both Gasol and Bynum are hitting double-digits in attempts, and both have in every game they've played, Bryant gets as many shots as he wants, even if he's falling away, double-covered and dealing with a painful wrist injury that requires constant treatment.

If that prescription continues to produce performances like this weekend's, the change in strategy should come in how the injury is being managed -- i.e. force Bryant to take extended rest -- rather than how the offense is being executed or how the shots are being divvied up.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:26 pm
 

Video: Kobe becomes youngest ever to 28,000

Posted by Royce Young



Sunday's game for Kobe Bryant was so very Kobe Bryant. He went just 6-28 from the field and scored only 16 points. But he also made history.

Kobe became the youngest player ever to 28,000 points with a free throw in the third quarter. Kobe is 33 years and 131 days old. Kobe is now one of six to have reached at least 28,000, but Kobe needed 1,109 games to reach the mark. Wilt Chamberlain did it in 825 games, Michael Jordan in 886, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1,008 and Karlm Malone in 1,070. Shaquille O'Neal is the sixth player to score that many.

Kobe came into the league straight out of high school, so he got a head start in terms of age. He's the youngest, yes, but he's also needed the second most games. There's a key difference in youngest ever and fastest ever.

He won't ever reach Kareem's record of 38,387 points, but should climb into the top five this season. He's currently sixth all-time behind Shaq, who has 28,596. Kobe has 28,012 as of today.

Kobe's Sunday night is almost a perfect illustration of how scorers live though. He couldn't make anything, and yet he still scored points. Scorers score, even when they can't, if you know what I mean.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:12 am
 

Dwyane Wade says 2012 his last for Team USA

By Matt Moore

Dwyane Wade has told FoxSportsFlorida.com that 2012 will be his last appearance for Team USA.
"This is my last run," Wade, 29, said in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. "No chance (Wade will return for another Olympics). No chance at all. Not a chance."
via 2012 to be Dwyane Wade's last Olympics.

Wade cites a desire to let other young players have their chance at a medal during their careers as his primary reason. Wade won a bronze medal in 2004 and a gold medal in 2008's Beijing Olympics alongside now-fellow Heat members LeBron James and Chris Bosh. It was their insistence, along with that of Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, notoriously close friends of Wade and James, that pushed Wade to come back for another season.

The lockout-affected season means that the NBA Finals will end as late as June 26th, and the Olympics begin July 27th, with Team USA training camp starting a few weeks ealier. Should the Heat's season go according to their plans, or at least as well as last year, Wade wouldn't have much time to rest his body, which is known to have injury issues. But Wade says the "unity' is what makes the experience special and will bring him back.

Team USA should be just as stacked this time around. With the Miami Big 3, Anthony, Paul, and Kobe Bryant expected to return, along with Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose, that's an absurd amount of talent right there. Competition could be as stiff this time around as it was in 2008, but expect Blake Griffin to have a good shot at making the team. Factoring in the kind of role players that usually make the team to give specific abilities (Tyson Chander's defense for example), and the 18-20 player list expected to be announced in January according to Jerry Colangelo, head of Team USA, (via FoxSportsFlorida.com) could make for some serious ego management in the roster decisions.

But having that much talent is never a problem, and Wade will be part of that pleasant conundrum.
Posted on: December 31, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 6:57 pm
 

Theory and Proof: Andrew Bynum surprises in debut

Posted by Ben Golliverandrew-bynum-2012

THEORY: Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum is a prime candidate for a slow start in a lockout and suspension-shortened season.

PROOF: 29 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal, 13-for-18 shooting in 32 minutes in his debut against the Denver Nuggets. Not exactly what we expected. 

The last time we saw Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum in an NBA game, he had stripped himself half-naked in frustration after getting ejected for delivering a dirty, dangerous hit on Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea.

That day marked the beginning of what would be a long lockout for Bynum, who has dealt with questions about his maturity, his health, his conditioning and his potential use as a trade chip for seven months. 

From the outside looking in, there were reasons galore to expect a slow, sloppy start from Bynum. While fully healthy for the first time entering a season in a few years, Bynum was suspended for the season's first four games due to the hit on Barea, meaning he lacked the first week conditioning ramp up afforded everyone else. He was away from the professional game for seven months, given a two-week period of training camp and preseason and then forced to wait as everyone around him -- teammates and opponents -- continued to progress.

That's just the tip of iceberg. Bynum is dealing with a new coach, Mike Brown, and his new systems. He's dealing with a new rotation surrounding him that lacks forward Lamar Odom, dumped in a trade to the Mavericks. He's playing with the knowledge that his front office nearly blew up the roster to acquire point guard Chris Paul in trade and knowing that he is the No. 1 most desired chip if and when Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith bites the bullet and moves All-Star center Dwight Howard. Of course, Bynum is also dealing with continued scrutiny of his offcourt behavior, which includes a number of recent traffic citations and an embarrasing incident in which he was caught parking in a handicapped spot while grocery shopping.

To complicate things even further, Bynum was set to make his debut against the league's fastest team and highest-octane offense. The Denver Nuggets entered Staples Center on Saturday ranked No. 1 in pace and No. 2 in offensive efficiency. The Lakers, with questions about their lack of depth abounding, were facing a team that lacks top-end starpower but easily goes nine or 10 players deep to continually apply pressure and one that has two big men -- Nene Hilario and Timofey Mozgov -- to bang with Bynum.

But Bynum emerged -- from the layoff, the conditioning questions, the offcourt distractions and the challenging opponent -- as the player of the game on Saturday. He might not be the sole reason this game slowed down and got ugly, allowing the Lakers to eek out a 92-89 win in the game's closing seconds, but he was a big one.

17 of Bynum's 18 field goal attempts came in the paint. Five baskets came on follows or putbacks; 6 of Bynum's 13 rebounds were offensive. He helped L.A. win the points in the paint battle, 46-32, and he managed to stay out of foul trouble throughout. Bynum finished with 29 points, a number he has topped only once in the regular season, a career-high 42 points against the Clippers in January 2009 and he's only attempted 18 shots in a regular season game three other times in his career. Bynum scored L.A.'s first six points -- finishing with 10 in the first quarter -- delivering time-and-again as his team clearly looked to establish him early.

But the defining sequence came late, not early. With just under two minutes to play, the game tied at 89, Bynum swooped in to block a layup attempt by Nene, a swat that quickly led the other way in transition for the Lakers. Bynum sprinted -- have we ever seen him move this fast? -- to the other basket, collecting a pass from Derek Fisher and smoothly converting a layup to put the Lakers up for good. That bucket provided a leading margin that stood despite two long misses, a turnover and a missed free throw attempt from Kobe Bryant in the final two minutes.

The win pushes L.A. above .500, to 3-2, and Bynum's starring role buoys the spirits in Tinseltown, where the trade rumors, the rise of the Clippers and an injured wrist for Bryant have led to a lot of anxiety. Bynum's addition takes much needed pressure off of Bryant and provides insurance against inconsistency from Pau Gasol. The team's three-headed monster is back and looking, for a day, like it never left.

This season debut should help put to bed a lot of the lockout ghosts -- or illusions of ghosts -- for L.A.'s big man. Bynum now must turn his attention to the same problem facing every NBA player: finding a way to make a similar impact, night after night after night, in a compressed schedule that does its players, particularly the big guys, no favors.
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Kobe Bryant advised A-Rod on knee procedure

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-bryant-knees

If walls could talk, imagine the stories they would tell.

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant and New York Yankees All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez could surely spin yarns for hours, swapping stories of leading marquee franchises to world championships and dominating headlines -- and the tabloids -- for more than a decade while reaching the pinnacle of fame.

So it shouldn't be all that surprising that Rodriguez, 36, turned to Bryant, 33, for advice in pursuing a new age knee treatment.

The New York Times reports that Bryant said he was happy to tip off Rodriguez to the German doctor who performed the procedure on his knee during the lockout. 
“I gave him the phone number,” Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers star, said with a smile Thursday night.

Bryant gave his endorsement after having the treatment — known as Orthokine, which is similar to platelet-rich plasma treatment — on his troublesome right knee. He said his knee was now “95 percent” and “as close to 100 percent as it’s going to get.”

Rodriguez had the procedure on his right knee and left shoulder, but only after consulting Bryant, a longtime friend. “He reached out to me,” Bryant said. “We have a good relationship.”
Was it sound advice?

USA Today reports the Yankees believe Rodriguez looks good to go after he a subpar 2011 season.
General manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday that Rodriguez is "100 percent," with "no red flags" going into spring training. Rodriguez had surgery on his right knee last July and saw his power drop in the second half and postseason. He played in 99 games and hit 16 homers, struggling to produce at his usual prolific levels.
As for Bryant, he is averaging 27.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game through the first four games of the 2011-2012 season. All of those numbers are up from his 2010-2011 averages.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: December 28, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Report Card 12.27.11: Lakers back on track



By Matt Moore


The Lakers get off the schneid, the Heat win by the hair on their chinny-chin-chin, and the Blazers look better than last year. All this and more in Tuesday night's report card.

A: Portland Trail Blazers: On the second night of a back-to-back, the Blazers trounced the Kings in dominant fashion, including holding them to just 14 points in the fourth quarter. There's a lot to like about this Blazers team along with the usual suspects, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews. Mostly, the defense, lead by Gerald Wallace. Wallace was an absolute demon Tuesday night, covering wall-to-wall and making every play you can imagine. The Blazers blocked three shots on one possession at one point, and wound up with eight blocks and six steals. A dominant showing on a night when their guards struggled. Blazers look good early.

A: Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers played so well I'm handing out two A-grades. On the third night of a back-to-back, the Lakers came out at home and put away any talk of their losing streak stretching to 0-3 in the first quarter. The Utah Jazz looked like the worst team in the league Tuesday night, but the Lakers' dominance was great enough to overcome the challenge of a terrible opponent bending the curve. Defense was the key here. Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace were everywhere. Gasol played extremetly strong both at the rim and in space against Al Jefferson. The Jazz were a wreck, but the Lakers steered them there. Great first win for Mike Brown and company.

B: Norris Cole: The Heat rookie was the fourth quarter closer the Big 3 could not, would not be. 20 points for the rook who was aggressive at every turn. Cole not only took the game by the horns and drove the Celtics into the ground to bring back for supper when they made a furious fourth quarter run behind a zone defense, he was pivotal on defense and made good decision making. He would nail a big shot, then fist pump his way to the bench without turning around for Dwyane Wade or LeBron James' approval. So why the B? He was a bit too aggresive at times and still struggles with finishing like all rookies do. Wouldn't want the kid to get too big a head on his shoulders. The kid simply stepped up, did his job, and helped get the win for the Heat when they needed someone to step up and hit the shots. And now everyone gets to ask, "They have MORE talent?"



C: Boston's comeback: Great adjustment by Boston coach Doc Rivers to go to the zone, which the Heat will now be seeing in every game for the remainder of the season. That, combined with some great shooting, particularly from Keyon Dooling, helped the Celtics bring the Heat to the knife's edge before Cole turned it around on them. The Celtics made the push they needed to, and showed why they are still dangerous. So why the C? They lost, are 0-2, with two losses to teams they are likely to encounter in the playoffs. It was a good comeback effort, but ultimeately, it wasn't enough, and you have to wonder if it would have been that close had it not gotten so out of hand in the third so as for Erik Spoelstra to start screwing with lineups. The Celtics get a D, but the comeback is a C. 

D: Heat's composure: How many times is this team going to melt down in the fourth? They had to turn to a rookie to save them late in a key game against arguably their biggest rival. It should never have gotten that close. Oh, and Paul Pierce didn't play. The Heat won, and they played incredibly well in the third, but man alive, they need to learn to close better.

F: Utah Jazz: So, you know, this draft class, it looks great...

Other Notable Grades:

Withdraw: Heat as invulnerable: Best team in the league right now? No question. But after looking like a flying death machine in the third, the Celtics drew blood on Heat before falling to their own mortality.

E For Effort: Kevin Love: 31 points, 20 boards in a three-point loss to the Bucks. Love was a monster and gave it his all in a badly coached game by Terry Porter with Rick Adelman absent due to a death in the family. One complaint? His final shot was either badly drawn up or executed, a pull-up 35-footer a la Kevin Durant in last year's playoffs vs. the Mavericks. But that stat line is part of what we missed during the lockout.

Gold stars: Pau Gasol (5 blocks). LaMarcus Aldridge. Brandon Jennings. Jon Leuer. Chris Bosh. MarShon Brooks. Vlad Radmanovic.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 6:57 pm
 

Kobe Bryant: Injured wrist is 'painful daily'

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-bryant

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant admits that he is hurting.

Yahoo Sports reports that Bryant is managing constant pain thanks to a torn tendon in his shooting wrist. 
“It hurts more when I fall on it with the impact below the wrist,” he said. “When I fall and hit the ground, that’s when I feel it the most.”

“It swells daily, it’s painful daily,” he said. “I try to stay on top of it as much as I can.”
The wrist injury caused Bryant to sit the Lakers' second preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers and has caused an up-and-down start to the 2011-2012 regular season. He's been forced to play with a protective sleeve covering his shooting arm from elbow to wrist, which is no small matter. 

Bryant shot a combined 21-for-47 in losses to the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings; he committed a costly late-game turnover and had a potential game-winning shot blocked at the buzzer during the Christmas Day loss to the Bulls. 

Bryant, 33, has cultivated a reputation as a warrior and has backed that up by being one of the NBA's most durable superstars. In the last six seasons, he's missed just 16 regular season games combined.

He's a gamer, there's no question, but he probably feels like he doesn't have much choice here, as the Lakers have no readily available other options. Even with one arm in a cast tied behind his back, Bryant is far and away the best option because L.A.'s other available backcourt depth includes reserve point guard Steve Blake and rookies Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris.

In other words, the pain will go on. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com