Tag:Kobe Bryant
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:22 pm
 

Report: Kobe Bryant loses 3 houses in divorce

Posted by Ben Golliver kobe-bryant-vanessa-bryant

It's a good thing this guy practically lives in the gym.

We noted earlier this week that Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant was set to lose a reported $75 million in a divorce settlement with wife Vanessa. TMZ.com reports Friday that the settlement will give Vanessa all three of the Bryants' homes.
Vanessa scored a clean sweep, snagging all three of the former couple's mansions in the Newport Beach area. Vanessa gets the estate the couple was living in, the estate her mom is living in, and she gets the new estate that had been under construction for 2 years and was just completed.
The Bryants, who have two young daughters, announced that they were filing for divorce in December and they did not have a prenuptial agreement in place.  

In a prepared statement issued to the media in December, a representative of the Bryant said: "The Bryants have resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately with the assistance of counsel and a Judgment dissolving their marital status will be entered in 2012." 

According to Basketball-Reference.com, Bryant has earned more than $196 million in salary during his NBA career. Bryant is on the books for $25 million for the 2011-2012 season, tops in the NBA according to Forbes.com, and has an additional $57 million owed to him in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 combined. SI.com reports that Bryant makes at least $10 million per year in off-court endorsements.
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:10 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 11:16 am
 

Report: Bryant lets Howard know whose team it is

Kobe Bryant is talking to Dwight Howard, but is he moving Howard away from the Lakers? (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

There are various rules and regulations that prohibit NBA teams and players from talking to one another in regards to recruiting for a trade. But when that player has been given permission to talk to other teams, that all goes out the window. Such is the case with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, who have apparently become like teenage girls gabbing on the phone with Howard weighing where he wants to be traded to, if at all. Unfortuntely for Lakers fans, it doesn't sound like Bryant's doing a great job as a pitch man.  From the Los Angeles Times
Kobe Bryant has had at least one in-depth phone conversation with Howard recently, even discussing how Howard might fit in with the Lakers' scheme.

One person with knowledge of the conversation said Howard came away feeling as if he wouldn't be the Lakers' top option, for obvious reasons. It's Bryant's team.
via Lakers-Magic center swap might be on back burner - latimes.com.

It's slightly bizarre that two stars on different teams playing Friday night have been chatting casually about their prospective dynamic should one of them join the other. But that's the new NBA. 

Bryant scaring off Howard is pretty much the most Kobe thing ever. Yes, the Lakers are 10-5, but they've also looked very beatable this season, more like a "good team that isn't winning a title" than a true contender, never more so than against the Heat (without Dwyane Wade) Thursday night. And yet Bryant has to make sure Howard knows the pecking order. It's his team, and no Defensive Player of the Year, MVP candidate,  most dominant center in the league is going to come in and take touches away from him. Bryant feels he's earned the right to determine his order in the pecking order, what with the rings and the Hall of Fame eventually and everything. 

But this isn't how you bring a talent like Howard in. That's not how his makeup is geared. You have to try and get him excited. But if Bryant is good with his guys, this is a great effort to sabotage a trade, which the Times says is on the back burner, with both teams not having talked for weeks. 

At least if Howard does push for and agree to a trade to the Lakers, he'll know for sure what he's getting into. It won't be Dwight's team. It will be Bryant's.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:37 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 11:41 pm
 

Report Card: Lakers-Heat Grades



Grades from the Heat's 98-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night. 

LeBron James


Well, he was on 4-9 in the fourth quarter. But then, that didn't really matter, since he scored 31 points (but needed 27 shots), had 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. That's about as complete a game you're going to find in a game with this kind of pace. James had pretty much everything working. A teardrop, a hook shot, threes, mid-range, dunks, the works. His team needed him to step up with flu-like symptoms and he got it done. It's not the flu game, but it is very impressive.

Erik Spoelstra


Spoelstra managed a pretty magnificent stratagem against the Lakers. He doubled Kobe Bryant as aggressively as you can, daring the Lakers' perimeter shooters to hit shots from range. When they couldn't, the Lakers' offense fell apart. Bryant was forced into either deferring or poor shots. The Heat's defense was in fine form. They funneled the ball where they wanted and when it went where they didn't (Andrew Bynum), they hammered the Lakers and made them hit free throws. Masterful game by Spo.

Mario Chalmers


Didn't shoot well, but ran the offense effectively and was disruptive on defense. Chalmers made no boneheaded plays and wound up with six assists. He did what the point guard on this kind of team needs to do. His job, and nothing more.

Chris Bosh


Bosh was charged with a brutal task. Score against two of the best big men in the league and defend them when they have multiple inches and tons of weight on him. Yet Bosh was effective in deterring entry passes and being active on the weak side. He spaced the floor with 15 points and set the tone.

Pau Gasol

The lone bright spot, Gasol should have gotten the ball much more in this game. He had the mid-range and was aggressive driving. It was a vintage performance wasted by a terrible Lakers offense.


Kobe vs. LeBron


The record is 11-5 and James just beat him with flu-like symptoms (Bryant obviously dealing with a torn ligament in his wrist that is arguably much more severe). James has won five straight against No. 24. Those that feel regular season games are meaningless won't be affected by these games (or anything short of James winnning six rings). But if we're buying into head-to-head to any degree, James' dominance is clear.

Kobe Bryant


Some poor shot selection, which you expect. But a lot of shots he usually hits just weren't falling. He controlled his shooting, controlled his turnovers, and tried to get the Lakers back in the game. Bryant's biggest problem Thursday night was not being as good as LeBron James. And really, on a night like Thursday, how do you blame him for that?

The Lakers mystique


Note that James didn't have an A game, Bosh didn't have an A game, the Heat didn't have Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant scored 11 straight in the fourth.... and they lost by eleven. The Lakers can still win a title this season. But no one's scared of this team right now. The menace is gone.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:06 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 3:14 pm
 

5 Things to Watch: Lakers at Heat

The Heat need LeBron James, who is a gametime decision with flu-like symptoms, against the Lakers Thursday night in Miami. (Getty Images)


By Matt Moore


The Heat and Lakers are probably the most recognizable teams in the league at this moment in time. Featuring a likely six All-Stars between them, it's a marquee matchup of the season. Even with Dwyane Wade out and LeBron James a gametime decision, all eyes will be on South Beach Thursday night to see if the Lakers can get past the wall they've recently hit against LeBron's teams, and if Kobe Bryant can continue what has been an incredible month for him. The Lakers need this game to avoid another loss to a playoff team, and their second loss in three games, while the Heat need a win to stave off a disastrous four losses in five games stretch. With that, here are 5 Things to Watch or Miami Heat vs. L.A. Lakers 2012, Round 1. 

1. A Sick Attitude: LeBron James isn't feeling well. And it's not even the Finals! (Hey-O!) James is a gametime decision against L.A. due to "flu-like symptoms" that he's been dealing with this past week. James was also not feeling great against the Spurs and missed several layups and jumpers in the first half. Then apparently he had a Hi-C juice box at the half because he came out and demolished the Spurs in the third quarter to help the Heat turn a double-digit deficit into a double-digit route. That's what he can do. The question will be if his condition has worsened and how he reacts to it. Thanks to Michael Jordan, expectations actually raise if you have the flu. So LeBron's under pressure not only to win, but to extra special while sick. With the compact schedule, there's little rest, so James could be far less than 100 percent Thursday night. Which pretty much dooms the Heat. This is not the Hawks.

2. Spreading the Wealth: Kobe Bryant has been ridiculous over the past week, Mavericks game aside. He's been on tear of scoring 40 per game which came to an end against the Mavericks, but they got the win anyway. He's also been shooting an insane amount. His usage rate, or percentage of possessions used, is at 39.7 percent. So basically 4 out of every 10 times the Lakers come down the floor, he's the one who winds up with a shot or turnover. Against Miami, he may want to get everyone else involved so the Heat's help rotation defense doesn't neutralize everyone else, leaving him to go it alone. Granted, Dwyane Wade being out opens up chances for him (Shane Battier remarked after practice today that he was going to get some Hail Mary's in before the game). But the Lakers can dominate the Heat inside. An efficient game from Bryant that uses Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum's advantage over a small Heat frontline to open up opportunities for Kobe could be the difference. That way Kobe gets the points, and the win.

3. The Inside Man: Well, I was worried about Andrew Bynum tearing the Heat apart, but Eddy Curry might play. The Heat are saved! But seriously, Bynum should be able to have his way with the smaller Joel Anthony and much smaller Chris Bosh. The Heat may even put Dexter Pittman on Bynum due to his size, but the youngster won't have the experience or muscle to hang with the wunderkind. If Bynum gets touches, the Lakers can play at their pace and rough up the Heat. Do that and you slow down the Heat's transition attack, their biggest asset.

4. Old Friends: Mike Brown knows LeBron James' tendencies as well as anyone in the league, having coached him for years in Cleveland. And setting aside whatever personal history exists between them, Brown will likely have his team prepared to combat James' effectiveness, flu or no flu. Whether it's goading him into his ineffective mid-range jumper, bringing help at the right time and position, or attacking one hand or another, Brown will have one of the best books on James you can have in this league, and he has a quality defensive roster and Metta World Peace to implement on him. Classic matchup: superstar power versus coaching stratagem.

5. Next Generation: Norris Cole and Darius Morris could have a lot to say about this game Thursday night. Cole provides a full-speed, no hesitation bucket creator for the Heat they desperately need coming off the bench. Morris provides an athletic point guard, which they haven't had in eons. Derek Fisher's savvy and Mario Chalmers' athleticism and improved shooting should cancel one another out, which means whichever guard can make the most of the attention drawn by their superstar big brothers will make a big swing in a game that features a lot of veterans in role positions. You hate for a game to come down to two rookies, but considering the matchups, whichever handles the pressure better could help their team to a monstrous win.

Your Plus-3 for the game:

- Don't be surprised to see Chris Bosh heavily involved in trying to draw out Pau Gasol, who has struggled with defense in space this season. Bosh has excelled at the pump fake and go, but if his jumper isn't falling, Gasol can pack the lane along with Bynum, keeping the Heat in mid-range jumper mode.

- The odds of a physical conflict in this game are pretty high. Between Udonis Haslem, Andrew Bynum, Bryant and Battier, Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace and the rest of the Heat bench, this will likely not be a pretty game.

- Mike Miller hit his shots against the Spurs in his first game back. He better hope he hasn't used them all up. The Lakers will bring a lot of help and cheat inside on drives, which means Miller will have looks. If he knocks them down, that puts the Lakers' defense into disarray.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Howard leads second returns for All-Star 2012

Posted by Royce Young

The second batch of All-Star ballot returns are out and leading the entire league again in votes is Dwight Howard with 1,161,797 votes with Kobe Bryant still second with 1,110,379. Second in the East is Derrick Rose (1,040,210), who jumped LeBron James (972,580) and second in the West Kevin Durant (973,152).

If the voting ended today, the East's starting five would be Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Howard. In the West it would be Chris Paul, Kobe, Durant, Blake Griffin and Andrew Bynum.

And looking over the vote totals, those starting lineups seem to be a bit set in stone, barring injury. Nobody is really all that close to catching anyone (Dirk was close to Griffin in the last voting, but Griffin has opened up a 300,000 vote lead).

So, are the fans getting it right so far? Kind of looks like they are, quite honestly. Can't argue with the West too much. I still take a little issue in that Kevin Love has been absolutely killing it in Minnesota so far this season averaging 26-15, but he's not part of Lob City, so it's hard to see him ever topping Griffin. Same goes for LaMarcus Aldridge, who is off to a fantastic start.

In the East, there's really nothing to change. Melo isn't really a power forward, but you can fudge the All-Star rosters a bit. Rajon Rondo isn't playing better than Rose, there's no better 2 in the East than Wade and of course LeBron and Howard are the best at their positions in the entire league. Injuries have played a role early in the season though, so you have to wonder if everyone will be healthy for the All-Star Game.

If the voting holds like this -- and it should -- we'll have a pretty accurate representation of the best in each league to start the All-Star Game. Again, I'd go with Love over Griffin, but that's not a sure thing case to make at this point. And it's not going to change anyway.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 10:34 am
 

Mike Brown wants to cut down Kobe's minutes

Posted by Royce Young

That German knee treatment Kobe Bryant had done has been great, but surely it can't be this great.

Kobe is averaging 37 minutes a game and at 33 years old with a bum wrist and shaky knees, that's just too many minutes. Coach Mike Brown knows it and wants to cut into that.

"I do want to get it down,’ Brown said Tuesday via the O.C. Register.

The 37 minutes a game is a four-minute increase over last season with Phil Jackson. But it's not just that. As the story notes, it's a hard 37 minutes. Unlike in the Triangle, Kobe is the constant focus of the offense, working to get shots, fighting to get open, running off picks, using his dribble -- he's having to put in a heavy workload every night.

He's taking almost 25 shots a game this season, which is the second highest total in his career. And it's not just that. Remember, it's a lockout shortened season with more games and less rest. The Lakers want Kobe healthy, rested and ready for April and May, not January and February.

So if Brown has to sacrafice a game here or there to get Kobe some rest, he might be doing that more. Just trying to whittle three or four minutes a night off is a big deal. It doesn't help that Kobe would prefer to play all 48, so it's not like he's volunteering here.

Via SLAM
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:46 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:46 pm
 

NBA GMs do not list LeBron James as leader



By Matt Moore

The NBA GM poll every year has a few interesting Nuggets. You get a feel for some of the underlying trends when it comes to players, coaches or teams. And in the case of LeBron James, this year's poll results are very telling. 

For example, from NBA.com:  











 So that's a pretty sterling resume when it comes to what management thinks of LeBron James, huh? Second Most Valuable, most athletic, most dangerous in the open floor, best at his position. It's pretty clear that the GMs aren't punishing James for his decision a year and a half ago to team up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on national television. They respect him and marvel at his talents, just like so many members of the media did. When people complain about James' selection as the best player in the NBA they need to understand that if you watch this league night in an night out, there's just no way around it. 

And yet.

There's this.
 


Not receiving votes: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or any member of the Miami Heat.

Let's be clear on that. Duncan, Garnett, Kidd, Durant, Nash, Bryant, Paul, Rose. That's a list of the best players in the league, now or in the recent (within five years) past. Only Tyson Chandler, who just won a title as the starting center, and Derek Fisher remain as non-star players. Derrick Rose is 23. And yet all received votes, and LeBron James, arguably the best basketball player in the NBA, did not.

That's a pretty clear indictment. It's not a surprise. James has never been known to be in the ear of teammates telling them what they need to do or motivating them. He tends to hide from the biggest moments for some inexplicable reason, or fail in them. He's known as being too playful at times and not taking things seriously enough. And he's also discussed as the ultimate complimentary player.

But not a leader.

In a lot of ways, society, pundits, and fans would rather you be a leader than be talented. There's a more direct correlation between leadership and winning than talent and winning. James wasn't gifted with leadership abilities, nor has he sought them out. He has plenty of opportunties. He's known as a kind of guidance counselor for young players, particularly John Wall, Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson. But you rarely hear teammates talking about the advice he's given. He has his own culture, his own inuslar identity.

The effect of Wade and James playing together clearly dilutes thier influence as well. How do you lead clearly when you have to check with your partner?  This is the identity of James, and it speaks to what we value in sports, as well as the continuing dichotomy of James as the most valuable basketball player alive and yet not one of the truly great players in the game. It seems we're always finding something new to tell James he doesn't do. First it was carrying a team to the playoffs. Then the Finals. Then winning the Finals. Then managing his ego. Now it's delivering in the clutch and leading. And yet none of the other things matter if those final two pieces of the puzzle are solved. And we're left with the question we've faced for half a decade.

Will James ever put it all together?
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:25 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:27 pm
 

NBA GMs survey: Heat over Thunder in 2012 Finals

Posted by Ben Golliver  

lebron-last-second

The NBA's chief basketball operations executives have weighed in: The Miami Heat should win the 2012 NBA Finals.

An annual survey of the NBA's general managers by NBA.com reveals that 74.1 percent believe the Heat will revenge their 2011 Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Back in November, Miami was set by Las Vegas as the early favorite to win the title.

An overwhelming 96.3 percent voted Miami as Eastern Conference champions. Miami is currently the No. 6 seed in the East, trailing the conference-leading Chicago Bulls by 2.5 games. The Bulls received just 3.7 percent of the vote. Miami topped Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Out West, the conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder are the clear favorite. 67.9 percent of voters believed the Thunder will win the Western Conference. OKC is currently 12-2 and already holding a 3-game lead in the conference. The Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs also received votes. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks,  who started the season slowly, did not receive a single vote.

The survey's selection for Division winners tended to favor established, veteran teams. In the East, Miami, Chicago and the Boston Celtics, currently toiling at 4-8, were picked. In the West, Oklahoma City, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers were the picks.

Voters selected Thunder forward Kevin Durant over Heat forward LeBron James as the guess for league MVP. Durant is currently averaging 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.1 blocks in 35.9 minutes per game. James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 37.5 minutes per game. Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who is leading the NBA with 30.8 points per game, did not receive a single vote.
 
 
 
 
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