Kobe Bryant Conquers China - WSJ.com
The Chinese people’s love of American basketball star Kobe Bryant can be attributed to his talent. But it’s also a reflection of Mr. Bryant’s frequent visits to China and the Chinese government’s growing interest in promoting the virtues of charity.
The Soulvine: Kobe and Antonio on the bus | Los Angeles Wave - Community News, Sports & Entertainment | The Soulvine
Much to the delight of some high-powered onlookers, Lakers great Kobe Bryant confronted Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the start of last week’s jam-packed Lakers victory parade and added a whole new dimension to the day’s festivities.
Kobe Bryant Was Heavily Influenced by Michael Jackson's Career -- NBA FanHouse
If I told you that, "Kobe Bryant grew up idolizing MJ," you would undoubtedly nod your head and say, "Yes. I can easily see how Michael Jordan was a big influence on Mamba." But, as it turns out, 24 was also heavily influenced by the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Kobe Bryant Talks to MTV About Michael Jackson’s Influence on Him | The Hoop Doctors
(Hat tip to FanHouse)
Kobe Bryant - Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009 - TIME
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is the 2009 NBA Finals MVP. One of the things he always told me was, Don't be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, that drive,...
Will NBA teams be as tight as the economy? - Los Angeles Times
Blame it on the economy. Or that so few NBA teams are far enough under the salary cap to sign an impact free agent. Or that many more big names -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among them -- could be available next summer. Whatever the reason, free agency won't be a free-for-all when it starts Wednesday, even though Lakers fans might expect otherwise since forwards Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza are able to sign with any team that winks back at them. Here's a look at free agency around the league...
Will Lakers -- or someone else -- show them the money? - LA Daily News
One by one, they said they hoped to come back to play for another NBA championship next season. Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown said they were happy and at home with the Lakers and wanted to re-sign with the team. The Lakers want them back, too. General manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Phil Jackson each said the journey to a second consecutive league title begins by re-signing the three unrestricted free agents. Kupchak made two moves toward retaining the services of Ariza, Odom and Brown when he traded two of the Lakers' three draft picks for cash and future selections. He didn't want to add players or their salaries to the roster. The next and most important step begins at 9 p.m. today.
Lakers, Heat lead rankings of NBA free-agent destinations - Steve Aschburner - SI.com
My task here: Rank the 30 NBA markets in terms of attractiveness to players, weighing tangibles as well as intangibles, to better understand the team's inherent competitive advantages and disadvantages.
1. Los Angeles (Lakers): Oh, to be young, rich and a Laker. You've got championship potential (and a ring coming if you already were there this spring), a dominant superstar, the wisest of head coaches. And Hollywood in awe and that marvelous playground beyond Staples Center.
(Like we didn't know.)
Forum Blue And Gold " Waiting For Godot. Or Free Agency.
Right about now basketball fans will listen to just about anything "to hold the terrible silence at bay." So, here are a few thoughts to fill the void.
More NBA links after the jump. Click on through...
Reports: Injury could cost Yao Ming season, longer - ESPN
Yao Ming could reportedly miss the rest of the season with a fracture in his foot.
- The Great Wall: Broken - Basketbawful
Milwaukee Bucks make offer to Ramon Sessions but not Charlie Villanueva - ESPN
The Bucks have made qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ramon Sessions and Ersan Ilyasova, but will not make an offer to Charlie Villanueva. With a mid-level exception at their disposal, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to have interest in signing Villanueva -- and the interest sounds mutual. Perhaps anticipating his free agency, Villanueva posted Sunday that "Cleveland fans are showing me mad love on twitter, appreciate the love."
Roland Lazenby (lazenby) on Twitter
The inside source says LeBron and Bosh have plans to end up playing together. Will Shaq interrupt those plans? Prolly not.
- Korver opts in, Boozer to follow? - Salt Lake Tribune
Free-Agent Market Set to Open, but Few N.B.A. Teams Are Expected to Shop - NYTimes.com
A tight economy and the prospect of a blockbuster crop of free agents next year may hurt the players available this summer.
IF MILICIC IS BEST WALSH CAN DO, HE DOESN'T DESERVE ALL THE PRAISE - New York Post
So much for faintly praising Walsh. Anybody can put a franchise on hold for two years while LeJesus decides whether he wants to flat-leave the Cavaliers, who have never said no to anything he's asked for (his words to me in late March) in owner Dan Gilbert's spendthrift pursuit of a championship. What Walsh has done in the meantime made 41 nights at the Garden scarcely bearable for beaten-down season-ticket holders and figure to stay that insufferable in spite of the surfacing of Milicic: He paid a coach $24M for four seasons based on a system that prospers when its conductor is an MVP maestro and orchestra is in unqualified harmony . . . sat still when D'Antoni commanded little if any defensive accountability and didn't insist Nate Robinson, at the very least, act like a para-professional. He signed a point guard who had his moments but whose body withered and whose bad habits continue. He passed on Eric Gordon and Brook Lopez -- despite Curry exceeding the calorie cap and not owning a defensive stance -- and drafted the son of D'Antoni's former Italian teammate, a 19-year-old with a recurrently ailing back.
NETS BROOK INTO VINCE-LESS FUTURE - New York Post
Brook Lopez saw the teammate who helped his rookie development most, Vince Carter, along with the player who became his closest friend on the team, Ryan Anderson, traded by the Nets in one move to...
Knicks’ Free-Agent Focus Will Likely Be on Their Own - NYTimes.com
With the 2010 market still their foremost concern, the Knicks will consider ways to resign David Lee and Nate Robinson.
the Blowtorch: Found Item: The Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Board
During last night's draft, a lot of people were getting a kick out of the Timberwolves drafting every point guard they could during the first round. It was so funny, in fact, that I coined* the name TimberLOLves to describe the foibles of new GM David Kahn. But then I got my hands on what I am told was their only drafting resource. Then things made sense. Have a look...
- Knicks To Meet With Jason Kidd Wednesday - SportingNews.com - The Baseline
NBA Free Agency Preview: The Calm Before The Storm - SportingNews.com - The Baseline
But this free-agent crop is not exactly stacked. Here is what’s out there:
X’s & O’s of Basketball: Larry Brown on Same Defensive Rotations
The following is from Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown on their defensive rotations on ballscreens and traps.
Keep up with our contenders:
- Starbury Wants To Be Back - CelticsBlog
Nuggets face critical decisions in NBA shopping season - Scott Howard-Cooper - SI.com
Second week of June, the rest of the NBA bunkering down for the draft, and Mark Warkentien, the Nuggets vice president of basketball operations, is at a Harvard Law seminar on negotiating. That's all anybody needs to know about how important the Denver big bosses consider this free-agent summer.
- Third Quarter Collapse - an Orlando Magic blog at SB Nation
- Blazer's Edge - A Site by Blazer fans, for Blazer fans
- Fear The Sword - By The Fans....For the Fans...Your Source For Cleveland Cavaliers Blogs, News and Comment
- Pounding The Rock - For all your Manu Loving San Antonio Spurs News
- Pickaxe And Roll - A SB Nation Denver Nuggets Blog - 5280 reasons to be a fan
The B.S. Report 6/29/09 Pt. 1 (As always, Chuck Klosterman owes Bill Simmons. Klosterman has a very good point about Bill toeing the line in his tiff with Mike Dunleavy.)
The B.S. Report 6/29/09 Pt.2
Obviously news has been slow, so if you have any links you think are worth posting, please email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org)