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KOBE BRYANT LEAVING LOS ANGELES?

Posted by HG on May 13, 2007

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I was watching NBA Shootaround on Friday night while waiting for the Warriors/Jazz game to get started. Stephen A. Smith dropped some interesting information:

I’ve spoke to several people in the league, believe it or not Kobe does have an abundance of friends in this league contrary to popular belief and they all said to me, you know what, he is completely disgusted and you can’t even measure the level of hostility he’s feeling towards the Lakers organization right now.

Go on…..

Listen to this.. Kobe Bryant, ever since he resigned with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to everything that I’ve heard he wanted Baron Davis before he got traded to Golden State. They didn’t get him. He had an opportunity to, they didn’t get him. He wanted Carlos Boozer because Larry Miller, the owner of the Utah Jazz, was on the outs with Carlos Boozer, they wanted to move him, the Lakers didn’t get him. He wanted Ron Artest, they didn’t get him. And then even when Kwaaameee Broooown was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for his best friend on the team at the time, Caron Butler, he didn’t learn about it until after the trade was consumated. Having spoken to Mitch Kupchak, the general manager for the Los Angeles Lakers in fairness to him, couldn’t reach Kobe earlier in the day, but I’m telling you everything that I’ve been hearing, if you think for one second that he is in love with Los Angeles, he loves winning more than he loves Southern California. He almost went to Chicago in a sign and trade, tried to force a sign and trade before he signed. You understand? He has absolutely no problem leaving if the Los Angeles Lakers, specifically owner Jerry Buss doesn’t get his act together. Do not be surprised at all if this stuff continues if Kobe Bryant some time around next year is asking to be traded.

 Now let’s be real.. Kobe’s not leaving the Lakers. Mitch Kupchak won’t let that happen. Not that he couldn’t let it happen, he has turned the Lakers  from contenders to first round whipping boys of the West elite, but he’s not gonna let Kobe get away. This has all the makings of a well timed leak of information from the Kobe camp. Like Stephen A. said, Kobe did talk about going to Chicago, and there were also the Suns and Clippers rumors when Kobe was a free agent. He didn’t leave then and he’s not leaving now.

The heir apparent to the Laker ownership throne, Jim Buss (son of Jerry) was on AM570 in Los Angeles this week and said not so fast on the Kobe trade talk:

Bryant needs to be aware that any trade involving him would require the other team to surrender its best player. For example, trading Bryant to Cleveland would cost the Cavaliers LeBron James. Any trade would markedly weaken Bryant’s new team, giving him no greater guarantee of a championship than he has with the Lakers.

Well.. That seems to take a little steam out of the Kobe trade talks, but KB can opt out of his deal in two years. He was asked about that in this exit interview and had this to say:

I’ve been a Laker fan my whole life. I hate to even think about me going someplace else.”

Notice he didn’t say “I won’t go someplace else”, he said he would hate to think about it. If the Lakers front office sits on their hands this offseason, I’m sure Kobe won’t mind entertaining the idea of bouncing.

I would bet the house that L.A. is gonna go out this summer and make a huge deal. Jerry West is no longer with Memphis so maybe he can do some consulting.. Teach Mitch how to pull off some of those miracle deals. I don’t know if it’ll be K.G., Jermaine O’neal, Jason Kidd, or any other name we’ve heard over the past few years but something is gonna happen. I would try to hold on to Lamar and Luke Walton (free agent), but I would trade anybody, ANYBODY, anybody else on the roster to become an elite team. Yes even Andrew Bynum. The young fella has shown some flashes but by the time he’s fulfiling his potential (if ever) Kobe will have some serious miles on his body. Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers don’t have that kind of time.

**YBB Kobe Update 5-29-07**

Meet the new Buss. Courtesy of the LA Times

Report Card/Exit Interview: Kobe Bryant. Courtesy of the LA Times

Listen to Kobe’s Exit Interview here.

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Posted in AM570, BARON DAVIS, CARLOS BOOZER, CARON BUTLER, CHICAGO BULLS, JERRY BUSS, JIM BUSS, KOBE BRYANT, KWAME BROWN, LOS ANGELES LAKERS, MITCH KUPCHAK, NBA SHOOTAROUND, RON ARTEST, SPORTS, STEPHEN A. SMITH, TRADE | 14 Comments »

MORMENTUM

Posted by HG on May 8, 2007

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While the Eastern Conference has Detroit rolling Chicago and the who cares fest of New Jersey and Cleveland, the Western Conference is getting busy. The Suns/Spurs series is being billed as the NBA championship, and Golden State v. Utah got off to an electrifying start.

The Warriors began game 1 in Utah like they ended game 6 in Oakland… Ripping and running, shooting 3s, and getting their And1 on. The Jazz were able to weather the storm even though they trailed by 3, 66-63, at the half. The point guards in this series, Baron Davis and Deron Williams, are giving me flashbacks of Tim Hardaway and John Stockton. Carlos Boozer was a beast down low for Utah (17pts, 20rbds), and Stephen Jackson, well, he’s being Stephen Jackson(16pts, 4ast, 3stls, 12 scowls).

The tempo of the game was up to say the least. Even though both teams were dedicated to pushing the rock there was a little defense played. Kirilenko had 7 blocks and 0 cries while Andris Biedrins had 2 blocks and 3 steals. The most amazing part of the game was Al Harrington’s re-emergence as a member of the Warriors. Harrington carried the Warriors in the 1st quarter with 3 3pt shots, and I was surprised he didn’t get a little more time on the floor.

If the Western Conference can give us 12 more games like the first two of the semis, it’ll more than make up for the Leastern side. While I’m dissing the East, would any of you be surprised if the Pistons won it all? I wouldn’t.

If you missed the Jazz/Warriors game, and you didn’t get a chance to see the highlights, watch the video below for a recap. Utah’s the one in all black.

The actual game was just like that. The two teams went toe to toe and traded blows right down to the end.

This next scrap didn’t work out so well for Jazz fans.

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Posted in CHICAGO BULLS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, DETROIT PISTONS, EASTERN CONFERENCE, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, MISC., NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, NEW JERSEY NETS, SPORTS, UTAH JAZZ, WESTERN CONFERENCE, YOUTUBE | 2 Comments »

THE ROCKETS, THE PLAYOFFS, AND THE MVP

Posted by HG on May 2, 2007

 **EDITOR’S NOTE** I started working on this post well before Midnight. I got a call from an out of town friend and missed my “daily” Rockets post. I hope this doesn’t have serious repercussions for the Houston Rockets. **END EDITOR’S NOTE**

Let me make one thing clear: I AM A PHILADELPHIA 76ERS FAN. I am only supporting the Houston Rockets in the playoffs because of this post. When the Rockets win the championship or are eliminated from the playoffs, I will revert back to my normal self. There’s no need to email me and call me a traitor or a phony. I ride with my teams do or die and nothing can change that. On to the playoffs….

The Houston Rockets lead the Utah Jazz 3-2: The Rockets don’t take the court again until Thursday night and I can’t wait. I’m feeling Houston closing this series on the road in Utah. I don’t know what would make me feel that way since the H-Town O has been MIA in SLC. I believe that Tracy McGrady is gonna do everything in his power to advance to the second round… as soon as possible. My perfect Thursday scenario: Gabrielle Union comes over to watch the game with me and brings a bottle of JWB (Johnny Walker Black). The Rockets beat Utah and Dallas beats the Warriors giving Houston a little rest before the next series. I know this scenario is highly unlikely… Dallas probably won’t win in Oakland. Positivity time: THE HOUSTON ROCKETS WIN THE SERIES IN 6 GAMES.

The Detroit Pistons over the Orlando Magic 4-0: I was wrong with my prediction for this series. Get used to hearing that. I picked Detroit in 5 for some unknown reason. Orlando was in a tailspin for the last half of the season and they finally crashed in the playoffs. Nothing much to say about this series. It was like watching a varsity-junior varsity scrimmage. The Pistons get the feisty Bulls in the next round. It’s like the 80s all over again. How long til Rasheed says “if Hinrich were black, he’d be just another player” or something to that affect?

The Chicago Bulls over the Miami Heat 4-0: I was wrong with my prediction for this series (I’m not done yet). Don’t laugh too much, I was only off by 3 games with my Miami in 7 pick. The adolescent Bulls dominated this series in the regular and post-season. I know Wade wasn’t 100% but it wasn’t gonna matter. Luol Deng and Ben Gordon provided the offensive punch, Ben Wallace supplied the “D”, and the team as a whole out fought the old and tired Miami Heat. The Bulls’ sweep of the Heat marks the 6th time a Shaquille O’Neal playoff team has been swept to elimination.

The Cleveland Cavaliers over the Washington Wizards 4-0: Guess what? That’s right, my prediction for this series was wrong too. I had Cleveland in 5 even with Arenas and Butler sidelined for the Wiz. I didn’t think the Cavaliers were mentally tough enough to close out any team in 4 games. I was wrong. Even though I watched this series I didn’t learn a whole helluva lot. The Cavs coasted through the series and should make it to the Eastern Conference finals having lost no more than 2 games. Cleveland’s sweep of Washington completed the Central division’s dominance over the Southeast division… A perfect 12-0 record.

The Phoenix Suns lead The Los Angeles Lakers 3-1: I’m right on pace in this series. I picked the Suns in 5 and I’m sticking to it. I knew Kobe would be good for one win and one win only. I’m sure the Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak is trying to figure out a way to trade Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd before Wednesday’s game. I doubt that would help since the Suns have the most talented top six in the league. Nash, Bell, Marion, Diaw, Stoudamire, and Barbosa are the murderers row of hoops. You could combine a couple of teams and still not have that much talent on your roster. The Pistons have the second best six with Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Wallace, Webber, and McDyess. In comparing the two, which match-up would you say favors Detroit? Sheed over Boris is the only one I see. Another positive for Phoenix: No team that has gotten rid of Shaq has won a playoff series since his departure. Orlando 0-6 and the Lakers soon to be 0-2.

The San Antonio Spurs lead the Denver Nuggets 3-1: I picked San Antonio in 6 so I’m still alive which is more than I can say for Denver. The Nuggets game one victory got everybody pumped.. Unfortunately for the Nuggs everybody included the Spurs. SA doesn’t win pretty.. They don’t get the hype that some of the other teams get.. They’re like the sheep dog in the old school cartoons. They come to work, punch the clock, whoop your ass, and punch out. San Antonio has managed to win 3 games and stay on the good side of the referees.. Kinda.. Denver has been whistled for 71 fouls, San Antonio for 73, but I’ve seen Duncan fouled at least 10 times with no call. Timmy looked so distraught over the lack of calls in game 4 that I thought he might actually brush his hair.

The New Jersey Nets lead the Toronto Raptors 3-2: I’m looking good here. I got New Jerz in 6 even though they shoulda closed this series out in 5. Vince Carter is the male exotic dancer and his fiance to the Raptors fan’s Payton, Cassell, and Caffey. If you don’t follow, the Toronto fans have been abusing Vince. Jason Kidd has been doing his thing, and it’s good to see RJ back in action. I like the Raps team and the direction they’re headed in. GM Bryan Colangelo is as bright as they come. Look at the moves he made with the Phoenix Suns, Tim Thomas and Eddie House, as compared to the moves the Suns made this year, Marcus Banks and Jalen Rose. Bryan’s number one priority is to sign or replace coach Sam Mitchell. If and when the Nets advance I can’t see them getting past Cleveland. Of course, as you can see, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

The Golden State Warriors lead the Dallas Mavericks 3-2: I picked Dallas in 6 games and at this point the Mavs would be lucky to see game 7. The most exciting series in the playoffs has also been a coming out party for Baron Davis and the Warriors fans. BD has averaged 26 points, 5 boards, 5 assist, and 2 steals while the Warriors fans have produced Jessica Alba. The rest of the fans have been outstanding but who cares, Jessica Alba is there…

The Mavericks started the series on a bad note when head coach Avery Johnson decided to start his small lineup to match-up with Golden State. Why is the 1 seed adjusting to the 8? I’m seriously asking you because I can’t figure it out. Nellie and crew need to be given a ton of credit for the defensive scheme they’ve used against Dallas. Putting a smaller, quicker player on Dirk, and then rushing him with double and triple teams from a variety of spots has worked well to this point. So well that people are calling for Dirk to return the MVP trophy that he hasn’t won yet. This really bothers me.

Dirk Nowitzki or Steve Nash are/were the only MVP candidates this year. The MVP is a regular season award. What do Dirk’s playoff successes and failures have to do with the regular season? Nothing. Does anybody hold the fact that Nash is only the second (Kareem 75-76 & 76-77) back to back MVP to not appear in the NBA finals in either year that he won the award? Nope. Nowitzki led his team to 67 wins and now everybody wants to run him out of the league because of a sub-par series against his former coach. What if Steve Nash was going up against a team coached by Mike D’Antoni? I’d have to guess that Mike and his staff would have a good idea of how to create problems for Steve.

I don’t care who wins the MVP trophy, but it seems to me that people are grinding some sort of personal axe against Dirk. People knock him for his style of play and at the same time celebrate Mehmet Okur or the rookie Bargnani for basically playing the same way. I don’t know if it’s because Nowitzki sings Hasslehoff at the free throw line or our country’s past problems with Germany, but this guy takes a lot of flack. If Dirk and the Mavs can find a way to win the series against G. State how many people will give the MVP trophy back to Dirk? I’ll bet zero.

This is why I’m rolling with the Rockets. Courtesy of yours truly

You can take a look at my brackets here. Courtesy of Ball Hype

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Posted in 76ERS, CHICAGO BULLS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, DALLAS MAVERICKS, DENVER NUGGETS, DETROIT PISTONS, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, HOUSTON ROCKETS, LOS ANGELES LAKERS, MIAMI HEAT, MVP, NBA, NBA PLAYOFFS, NEW JERSEY NETS, ORLANDO MAGIC, PHOENIX SUNS, SAN ANTONIO SPURS, SPORTS, TORONTO RAPTORS, UTAH JAZZ, WASHINGTON WIZARDS | 3 Comments »