Tag:Kobe Bryant
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:29 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 10:25 pm
 

Kobe passes Michael Jordan as top All-Star scorer

Kobe Bryant became the all-time leader in points in the All-Star Game Sunday. (Getty Images)

Posted by Royce Young


ORLANDO -- Kobe Bryant can check another milestone off his list. And it's his favorite kind of milestone -- the kind where he moves past Michael Jordan in something.

In the second half of the 2012 All-Star Game, Kobe passed Jordan for first all-time in total points in the All-Star Game with a dunk late in the third quarter to give him 263 points. He passed Oscar Robertson (246 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (251) earlier in Sunday night's game.

Bryant, a 14-time All-Star (tied most all-time) and a four-time All-Star MVP, entered the game with 244 points, 18 behind Jordan's all-time mark of 262. Jordan's career-high in an All-Star Game was 40 in 1988. Kobe's was 37 in 2011.

Jordan played in 13 All-Star games, and Kobe's 13th as well. Both were selected to 14.

Kobe's career resume continues to grow to ridiculous proportions. He became the fifth leading all-time scorer earlier this season and with his All-Star appearances, titles (five), an MVP and all the rest he has in his pocket, it's pretty easy to build a top 10, if not top five case for Bryant.


Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:43 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Kobe Bryant All-Star Saturday sound bites

Posted by Ben Golliver   
Kobe Bryant took questions on All-Star Saturday. (CBSSports.com)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant skipped out on Friday morning's All-Star media availability, citing illness. Later Friday, he magically recovered for a promotional appearance, and he looked in fine form Saturday morning while being swarmed by international media members prior to All-Star practice.

It didn't take long for Bryant to reveal the real cause of his illness: questions that irritate him.

"What type of question is that to ask me? Are you kidding me?" Bryant said, when a reported asked if he would root for the Los Angeles Clippers if they made it to the NBA Finals. "Man, I was sick the other day so I didn't have to hear this."

Further prodded for his preference in a hypothetical match-up between the Clippers and the Miami Heat, Bryant cocked his head to the site, as he is wont to do, and said, "Huh? I'd be on an island somewhere."

Jeremy Lin

Bryant experienced "Linsanity" first hand when New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin exploded for a career-high 38 points against the Lakers at Madison Square Garden in February.

Before that game, Bryant said he wasn't really aware of Lin's game, but afterwards he sang a different tune, extending a complimentary review of the performance.

On Saturday, he went a different direction, attacking the NBA's talent evaluators for doing exactly what he had done in February: overlooking Lin's abilities.

"The biggest thing to me is how everybody missed it," Bryant said. "They all would be fired if I was the owner of the team. I hear this stuff about it coming out of nowhere and it's a load of crap… There had to be something there and everybody missed it."

Dwight Howard

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard continues to draw the biggest media crowds with the game in his backyard and his future up in the air.

"It's a little awkward. It's a little awkward," Bryant said of the fact that Howard's trade demand is hanging over All-Star Weekend.

He then seemed to express some sympathy for Howard's frustration, perhaps hinting at his own feelings about the direction of the Lakers.

"He just wants his team [to win]… with players, sometimes there's a certain level of frustration when we don't feel like we're moving in the right direction."

All-Star Memories

Asked for his favorite All-Star memory from 14 selections, Bryant didn't hesitate. 

"For me the best memory of All-Star Weekend has always been my first All-Star Game. The Golden Greats -- [Michael] Jordan, [Clyde] Drexler, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, those guys. Always my fondest memory."

Los Angeles Clippers

Bryant said he's looking forward to playing with Clippers guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin during Sunday night's All-Star Game. 

"We had a good time last year," he remembered. The 2011 All-Star Game was held in Los Angeles.  
Asked if he ever imagined that four Western Conference starters would come from Los Angeles, he delivered a punchline he seemed to have been sitting on.

"Yeah, it was just in Lakers uniforms. Clippers had none."

Mentoring

Given that the All-Star experience is now old habit for him, Bryant joked that he was merely looking for "rest and relaxation" this weekend.

He did say that he also enjoys evaluating the first-time selections to see who has "pre-game jitters" and that he seeks out younger players with certain characteristics to offer a bit of mentorship. 

"Certain players, if I see a little bit of myself in them in terms of disposition and work ethic, I'll help them out," he said, without revealing any names.

Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:21 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 4:01 pm
 

Kobe Bryant calls in sick to All-Star session

Kobe Bryant didn't feel like talking at All-Star availability Friday. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

ORLANDO -- The biggest horde of media during Friday's All-Star availability piled up around Kobe Bryant's table and waited. And waited. And waited.

But he didn't show. The official word from the league was that Kobe was sick. Which means that he won't be fined for missing it. Calling in sick is always the best excuse.

Still, it's an odd situation for one of the league's one or two more visible superstars to spurn the mass of reporters, both foreign and domestic. Some even waited there for the entire 30 minutes before a league spokesman finally came over and said Kobe wasn't coming.

Bryant was the top vote-getter in the West with better than 1.5 million votes. It's Kobe's 14th consecutive All-Star Game appearance, which ties him for the most all-time with Karl Malone, Jerry West and Shaquille O'Neal. So obviously he's been here and done that.

But the no-show was a bit curious. There were rumblings it might happen earlier in the week and it's up for speculation as for the reason why. Maybe he didn't want to talk about the Pau Gasol rumors. Maybe he didn't want to talk about the Laker organization potentially being a bit in disarray. Maybe he didn't want to talk about how excited he is to be here. Maybe he didn't want to answer questions about Jeremy Lin. Or maybe he was actually sick. Who knows.

Kobe does have another appearance scheduled for Friday night, a special "surprise" announcement with LeBron James, Omri Casspi, Serge Ibaka and Andrea Bargnani. We'll see if he calls in sick to that too. The only other availability for Bryant this weekend would be following Sunday's game. So by skipping the Friday time, he basically avoided pretty much the bulk of the questions he'd have to answer.

It's not the biggest deal in the world to skip out on the availability, even though he is the only player that didn't show up. All 23 of the other players were there and spent their 30 minutes talking to reporters.

Now if Kobe skips out on Sunday night, well, then that's certainly a big deal.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:54 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 10:57 am
 

Video: James Harden and Kobe get into it

By Matt Moore 

Last night as the Thunder were running away from the Lakers, James Harden and Kobe Bryant got into it. It was another horrible shooting night for Bryant, who scored 24 points on 24 shots as Harden was about as high up in his grill as you can get. Harden was also dropping threes and dunking in transition, essentially running the Lakers and Kobe out of the building. Bryant did not take well to it. The Orange County Register reported that Harde was yelling in Bryant's face after a three, and kept at it. Then this whole situation developed, courtesy of @Jose3030 on Twitter

 

Fun times!

The obvious response from Kobe is to say "Count the rings!" and the obvious respone from Harden is to say "That's ancient history, old man." The Thunder continue to make a statement this season that the power rests in the West with OKC and the Lakers are yet another team past its prime trying to hang on.

If these two meet in the playoffs, that's going to be a lot of fun seeing if Bryant can teach Harden a lesson in humility, or if Harden gets to have the last laugh with that beard of his.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:39 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:48 am
 

Report Card: Sanity reigns


The Heat&nbsp''s defense swarmed the Knicks on Thursday in a win. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore 

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Notable Games: 
Miami 102 New York 88
Oklahoma City 100 Lakers 85

Heat's Defense Miami trapped on the pick and roll, attacked Jeremy Lin at halfcourt on his dribble, contested at the rim with Joel Athony, and made Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire disappear. Individually they are impressive. Collectively they are dominant.
LeBron James His 7-16 shooting percentage is the only thing keeping him from an A. Because James sets the bar just that high. 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks. That's pretty absurd. His defensive work and ability to run the break and control the pace of the game was complete. Another MVP performance.
Joel Anthony How do you only get six boards as a starting center, score no points and get an A? Five blocks, and constantly limit every single baseline and wing penetration. Anthony was outmatched in terms of talent, as he usually is, and played brilliantly, as he has for most of this season.
Chris Bosh The only member of the Big 3 for Miami with a good shooting night, Bosh just kept plugging filling in baseline jumpers and at one point, shook Tyson Chandler something fierce with a step back jumper. Bosh continues a great season he gets no credit for.
Jeremy Lin Yes, he was tired. Yes, it was one of the best defenses in the league. And yes, everyone gets an off nigh. But Lin must cut down on his turnovers. This is not a usage issue. Four turnovers, five turnovers, sure. Lin had six in the first half, eight total, and that just kills everything New York does well with him. Lin did his best, but the bar has been raised for Lin and he couldn't reach it against the best competition he's had.
Amar'e Stoudemire If anyone sees Amar'e Stoudemire, please let us know. He hasn't been seen since the first half against Miami.
Carmelo Anthony Anthony looked good in the first half, moving the ball and moving without it. Then in the second half he faded, going more and more to isolation, and draining the Knicks offense. He had very little choice as the Knicks offense was drowning itself in a pool of its own vomit. But there's still not a measure of total comfort for Melo.
Miami's point guards Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers took it right to Lin and converted turnovers into points, managed the offense, and hit shots. Cole's aggressiveness continues to impress.
Kobe Bryant Twenty four points on twenty four shots. Kobe System. You're welcome.
James Harden It's not every night you get to beat up Kobe Bryant's shooting percentage, talk trash to him, steal from him and then outrun him in transition, and get the win. Harden was brilliant defensively, which isn't commonplace, Thursday night. Staring down Bryant and not backing down gets bonus points.
Kevin Durant 33 points on 22 shots, 6 assist, 3 steals and just 2 turnovers. The model of efficiency and tough shot after tough shot. You know, same ol' same ol' for KD.
Kendrick Perkins Perkins has not been great at times the past two seasons, but Andrew Bynum brings out the best in him. Perkins made some big plays and played the kind of tough defense he's known for. His follow dunk in the fourth quarter Thursday was a statement late that the game was over.
Pau Gasoly Another game, another disappearing act for the most controversial Laker of this era.
Russell Westbrook Westbrook didn't shoot well. He wasn't creating tons of assists, but he made a lot of plays like the one in the fourth quarter where he beat two Lakers to the ball, corralled it with one hand, kicked the break off blowing past two more Lakers, then dished a perfect laser pass to a cutting Harden for the dunk. Westbrook remains, as always, underrated.


E FOR EFFORT
DeJuan Blair (28 points, 12 rebounds, 0 turnovers)
Andre Miller (20 points on 10 shots, 7 assists, 2 turnovers)
Jannero Pargo (15 points in less than 20 minutes)
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:38 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 5:58 am
 

Kobe, Magic say it's time for Buss to meet Bryant

Kobe Bryant says he and Jim Buss should meet; Magic Johnson agrees (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Just days after Kobe Bryant challenged the Lakers' front office to make a desision regarding Pau Gasol and Ken Berger of CBSports.com filed a scathing and revealing report on the inner dysfunction of the team's front office, Bryant told reporters that he and Jim Buss should meet for a conversation. And he wasn't the only Laker great to suggest the idea.

On a conference call Wednesday, Magic Johnson told reporters that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is "not running the team" anymore and that Jim Buss is making all the decisions. Johnson, who is as close to the Lakers organization as anyone, considering he has a statue outside their building, said that the answer was for Bryant and Buss to sit down and have a conversation. From the L.A. Daily News:
"(Bryant) just wants to be informed as a team leader and a future Hall of Famer and a guy who has brought five chapmionships to the Lakers," Johnson said. "He wants more communication, probably like he did when Phil Jackson was here and he worked well with Mitch. I don't think Kobe feels he has that type of relationship with Jim.

"What probably has to happen is they need to sit Kobe down and sit Jim down. Dr. Buss was the master at taking you to lunch or taking you to dinner and going over what he was thinking and what he wanted to do with the team.

"Jerry West was good at that as well. Kobe, Mitch and Jim just have to get on the same page and things will be OK."
via Magic: Bryant, Jim Buss need to have face-to-face chat - LA Daily News.

After the Lakers shootaround, Bryant told reporters when asked if it was time for he and the younger Buss to sit down and have a conversation, "Um, perhaps." That was all, but that one word speaks volumes. If it was no, he could have said "I don't know" or "I'm just a player" or even "I'd be open to it." But that's not it. It's Bryant trying to push for change in the organization, to right the ship. This team isn't over, it's not done, it's not through trying to win championships and still features three great players and one or two good players. Bryant's not willing to sit by and let this situation get out of control.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson is sticking up for the franchise player, going with the star trying to make the most of the end of his career instead of the son of his long-time friend and employer Jerry Buss. (Read the excellent "When the Game Was Ours" by Jakcie McMullen for more on Magic and Buss' friendship.) It's incredible that not only is Bryant openly questioning management, but that the greatest player in franchise history has openly said the GM is not in charge and that the managing owner needs to communicate better with his team. This kind of thing simply doesn't happen. And yet here we are.

The Lakers held a players-oly meeting this week to try and focus past all the distractions and it worked in a blowout win over Portland. As of this writing, they lead the Mavericks by 12 in the second quarter Wednesday night. So the players are doing their part to work past the issues. Will the front office?

Strange days for the most successful franchise in the NBA.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:52 pm
 

Lakers interested in Michael Beasley?

Are the Lakers looking at Beasley? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The idea is that at some point, Michael Beasley will find himself in the perfect situation. He'll have the right support system, the right teammates, the right system and as a result, he finally realize some of the talent he has. Because the guy has got talent. Loads of it. It's why he was drafted second overall and why the Timberwolves were more than happy to welcome him despite not really having a good spot for him.

It hasn't exactly worked out with Minnesota and with the Wolves drafting Derrick Williams, Beasley just doesn't really have a place.

Then there are the Lakers, a team trying to make a deal to salvage a makeshift roster. Perfect marriage for a deal, right? Well, the Lakers like Beasley, according to ESPN.com:
The Lakers' front office knows Kobe Bryant is looking for it to improve the roster, and GM Mitch Kupchak has been working the phones. He's spoken to Minnesota about Michael Beasley, and sources say the Lakers are intrigued by the Timberwolves' small forward. The Lakers were actually in discussions with Minnesota about a potential trade for Beasley before the season started. If they would have been able to pull off the deal for Chris Paul, there is a good chance that a trade for Beasley would have followed.

It's not clear what the Lakers would give Minnesota for Beasley (if indeed the talks get that far), but the Lakers could absorb Beasley into their $8.9 million trade exception while giving up a draft pick or cash. I'm told the teams have not spoken about Pau Gasol since the preseason. Minnesota is looking to move Beasley, who they feel has matured very little (if at all) since he's been there, according to sources. The Lakers believe they can handle a player like Beasley because of their winning culture and the leadership of Bryant.
The Lakers need more help than just Beasley, but like I said, the guy is just dying for that right place. Rasheed Wallace finally found it with the Pistons and look what happened. Beasley has serious ability. It's just got to click for him.

According to the report, the Lakers are also looking at acquiring a point guard, a position that needs a lot of help. They worked out Gilbert Arenas last week, but evidently haven't made a decision there yet. There are other point guards on the market like Ramon Sessions and the report says the Lakers might be able to grab Sessions for a first round pick.

I think the deals are coming for the Lakers. Maybe not a blockbuster involving Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum, but something. That trade exception is just sitting there and it's hard to believe they truly gave up Lamar Odom to a Western contender for basically nothing.

I like Beasley with the Lakers too. I think it's a fit. He can forget about trying to carry a bad team for once and concentrate on his strengths. He can fit in alongside Kobe and Gasol and let those guys lead the way while he follows. It might take a bit of an attitude adjustment from him realizing maybe he's not going to score 20 points a game, but if he's willing, he still has a lot of bright years ahead of him.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:24 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 12:35 pm
 

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

Posted by Royce Young

Things are in a strange place for the Lakers right now. So strange, that general manager had to put out a statement essentially reminding everyone that he's a general manager.

But with rumors starting to circle centering around Pau Gasol, the team is concerned with sticking together amid the possibility that pretty much any player not named Kobe could be dealt.

So according to ESPN.com, the Lakers held a players only meeting after last night's game against the Blazers to talk about it.

It was an odd time for a players-only meeting -- minutes after a blowout victory over Portland -- but the Los Angeles Lakers felt they needed to clear the air. So, according to sources, team leaders Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher gathered everyone together in the Lakers' locker room Monday night and tried to set the tone for the second half of the season.

Their message was clear: Trade rumors do not matter; your feelings about management or the coaching staff don't matter; all that matters is that the 14 men in that locker room support and believe in one another. If they stay together and stay on the same page, they can get to where they want to go as a team.

According to the report, some players were upset about the rotation and distribution of minutes as well.

Typically, players only meetings happen because the team is playing bad, or dropped a tough game. The Heat famously had one after falling to 9-8 with a loss to Dallas early last season. But the Lakers are playing well enough and had just beaten the Blazers.

But they wanted to get things set straight. They wanted to get on the same page. They wanted to make sure everyone's heads were clear and that they were focused on the task at hand.

It's hard to block out trade rumors, I'm sure. But every player has to do it. Every player knows that any minute, his number could get called. It's part of the business.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com