Here are the Sunday Links:
RealGM: Two Plus The Foul - The Official Kobe Bryant Free Agency Primer
There's been a lot of conflicting and confusing information floating around about Kobe Bryant's ability to become a free agent this summer. In an attempt to clear it all up, I'll wade through the situation in question and answer format.
(The link above is by Larry Coon. The same Larry Coon who offers the Salary Cap FAQ. Which every NBA fan should familiarize themselves with. It's well nuff impo'tant. You betta learn 'bout dem tings!)
- Kobe Bryant's Early Termination Option: The $135 Million Elephant in the Room | Lakers Blog | Los Angeles Times
For real drama, look to the East - Los Angeles Times
They don't make seasons like this one, or, at least, the NBA hadn't for a while.
- Magic to Pursue Rasheed Wallace, Brandon Bass -- NBA FanHouse
- NBA's top 20 free agents - Sports - OCRegister.com
Brandon Jennings Acting Up Again? -- NBA FanHouse
Apparently talking with rapper Joe Budden on a blog cam following the draft, a recorded Jennings ripped the Knicks for passing him up in the draft, predicted the Bucks would not re-sign Ramon Sessions, instead spending their money on Charlie Villanueva, and finally that Luke Ridnour would eventually be his backup.
- Social Media Biting Back at Brandon Jennings? - SportingNews.com - The Baseline
Kidd would fit Knicks like a glove - SportingNews.com - The Baseline
The Knicks have made it known they're interested in talking to the Timberwolves about Ricky Rubio (even if it turns out to be nothing more than a casual phone conversation between two friends). But there's another point guard they have their eye on, according to The New York Times: veteran Jason Kidd.
Who Does Ricky Rubio Think He Is? -- FanHouse
(Bobblehead alert! - He's a player with leverage. He has options, so why should he settle for a poorly run organization? The NBA wants him to play just as much as he wants to play in the NBA. Given the publicity he receives and the international media attention and fans he'll bring, added to his youth and position, he can be a great asset to the NBA if he lives up to the hype. Minnesota can't call his bluff. That who he thinks he is.)
O'Neal Is Set To Be Best Since Jordan
All of which begs the question: More than 10 years after Michael Jordan announced his second retirement, who is the most accomplished player of the post-Jordan generation: Shaq, Kobe or Duncan?
(Revisionist history will show one day, that while O'Neal was the dominant player given his physical advantages, Kobe didn't "ride" Shaq for three rings. They rode together. If it were so simple, then why didn't the ring come when the Lakers has Shaq, Kobe, Eddie, Nick Van Exel, Elden Campbell, Robert Horry, and Rick Fox in '97-'98? Or the next year when they added Glen Rice? The difference was Kobe matured into the great player he is now. Shaq was already deemed a top 50 Player! Yet, it was Kobe's brilliance that finally propelled the Lakers into greatness. It was never mostly because of Shaq. It was the two of them together.)
Ohio.com - Team in a hurry
The Cleveland Cavaliers aren't in the mood for patience. The players, coaches and executives still feel the pain of losing in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, visions of Dwight Howard pounding the ball through the hoop throbbing in their heads. The Cavaliers want a championship now, and thus they have delivered an answer for Howard, and the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, for that matter. They've acquired skill, power and presence in the post, in the form of Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal ranks among the very best ever to play his position. He has four championships. Indeed, many have noted the pattern: Match O'Neal with a splendid swingman, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade, and a title follows. We hardly need to mention the all-world swingman already at work in these parts. Will the pattern hold?
(The Big Sidekick.)