Archive for the 'Kobe Bryant' Category

Kobe on Kimmel

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles LakersKobe Bryant sat down with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night to discuss his health, L.A.’s coaching situation, Michael Jordan and more. Below is a transcription of his interview:

Q: On his physical health:
Bryant: From a health standpoint, 100 percent.

Q: On where he’s at from a basketball perspective:
Bryant: I’m not there yet. I started doing a lot of on-court training, and so I’m back into my routine, my lifting, started doing the running, which I hate. But by the time the season comes around I’ll be ready to go.

Q: On watching the Lakers’ 2013-14 season in which he played only six games:
Bryant: I’d rather stay home and eat paint chips. It was tough, man. It was really, really tough. But when you go through seasons like that, it just adds fuel to the fire.

Q: On if he feels optimistic about next season:
Bryant: Absolutely.

Q: On Magic Johnson’s comment about coach Mike D’Antoni resigning:
Bryant: The first thing I thought of was seeing the munchkins on the yellow brick road dancing and singing “The wicked witch is dead” when (Magic) said that, that song just came to mind. But look, Mike was dealt a really bad hand when dealing with all the injuries he had. This is a tough place if you’re not winning. I honestly didn’t care (to see him go).

Q: On if the team consults him about coaching candidates, and the approach of team owners Jim and Jeanie Buss:
Bryant: On the last two, they didn’t. On the next one, I’m hoping they do. Jimmy and Jeanie both are really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this, building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished. They’re taking the challenge extremely, extremely seriously; they’re both on the same page and they want nothing but excellence here, so I have no doubt that we’ll make it happen.

Q: On if management needs to take his temperature on the coaching hire:
Bryant: Now I think it’s an open-door policy. We talk back and forth, text … honestly it’s not really about whether the players like the coach or not. It’s really about getting results. Liking somebody and results don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Sometimes when a coach is driving you, you don’t necessarily like him, but it’s part of the process. Then once you win, everybody is buddy-buddy after that.

Q: On if anyone drives him harder than he drives himself:
Bryant: No, I’m pretty psychopathic when it comes to that stuff. But Phil (Jackson), I’ve been very lucky to have Phil as a coach throughout my entire career, and Tex Winter, Jim Cleamons, Frank Hamblen, Brian Shaw and those guys have really done wonders for my career.

Q: On if he considered buying the Clippers:
Bryant: No. That’s not a possibility, but in terms of brand depreciation, that’s as quick as you can get.

Q: His reflection on when the Clippers were recruiting him in free agency and his meeting with Donald Sterling:
Bryant: At the time the biggest concern was, was he willing to spend to have a successful team. He said during the meeting he was willing to make that commitment to bring a championship team – another championship team to Los Angeles. He has done that. He has spent the money to go out, keep Blake (Griffin) and DeAndre (Jordan) and Chris (Paul) and those guys.

Q: On if he watches the Clippers in the playoffs and whether there is a rooting interest for or against them:
Bryant: It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m not winning so what the hell do I care who wins? Doesn’t matter to me, man. But most of them are friends of mine. Chris is a good friend. I make sure I sent him a message during this whole fiasco. I watch and hope the guys I know do well.

Q: On if it’s difficult to watch when the Clippers are doing so well:
Bryant: I think it’s great for the city, I think it’s great for competition. I love it when they do well. I would love nothing more than for the Lakers to get back to that championship level and meet the Clippers in the playoffs. I think that would be fantastic.

Q: On teaching his daughter a lesson about losing:
Bryant: Our youngest one becomes very emotional when she loses. She had a really tough game. She’s playing softball, she had a tough time, she’s crying. I was telling her: ‘It’s alright. You lose, it’s OK.’ (She said): ‘No, it’s not OK.’ I’m like: ‘How the hell do I reach this kid?’ I showed her us getting absolutely destroyed, pummeled by the Celtics in the Finals and being upset and crying and stuff and showing it’s OK. Then I showed her the 2010 Finals and we bounced back, redeemed ourselves and tried to use that as some kind of a teaching tool. She went out in the championship game and had the game-winning double, so seems like it worked pretty well for her.

Q: On Nick Young’s first pitch at the Dodgers game:
Bryant: That’s crazy. I pray to god he (didn’t do that on purpose). That’s so bad it’s impressive.

Q: On Phil Jackson telling a story of young Kobe Bryant meeting Michael Jordan and telling Jordan he’d kick his (butt) in a game of one-on-one:
Kobe Bryant: Well, you know, it’s half true. Phil – as much as I love Phil – likes to embellish. He writes books – a lot. He has to market those books. But the other story is Michael was dishing it out to me as well, man. Years later, after I scored 81, he was barking about how I could never do it against him. ‘You’re never going to do it against me. I would have fouled out.’ We would have went back and forth. I usually try to stay pretty cool when it comes to MJ because I looked up to him so much, but on that particular occasion, I had to remind him I did have 42 in one half against him. But Phil loves embellishing. I told him at some point, ‘You’re going to have to give me some royalties off your books.’

Q: On if he misses Phil:
Bryant: I do. We still speak often. I think he’ll do fantastic (in New York), especially the more people say he won’t be successful. I found myself reading a lot of the books that he gave me when I was a player that I was just too young, and had too much energy to actually sit down and pay attention to. But he was just a fantastic mentor and unbelievable coach.

Q: On if he feels like the Lakers can win next year:
Bryant: I do. We will make changes for sure, there are certain characteristics you have to build your team around with speed and length and rebounding. We’ll make those adjustments.

Lakers Teamwork off the Court

Teamwork at its finest.

Injury Update: Kobe Bryant

2014 NBA All-Star GameInjury ReportKobe Bryant addressed the media prior to the 2014 All-Star Game and remained optimistic there would be “some improvements” when he returned to Los Angeles. At the same time, he acknowledged: “It’s been a slow process.”

On Friday at STAPLES Center (Lakers hosted Boston), Dr. Steve Lombardo examined Bryant:

The 16-time All-Star last played on Dec. 17 at Memphis, where he suffered a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau of his knee.

Bryant missed the team’s first 19 games of the season after recovering from a torn Achilles. He returned on Dec. 8 vs. Toronto and played in six contests before going down with the knee injury.

On Set with Kobe Bryant and Richard Sherman

On Monday, Kobe Bryant and Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman were on set for a Nike photo shoot.

Sherman helped anchor a Seattle Seahawks defense that ranked first in the league in opponent passing yards (172.0 per game), total yards (273.6) and points (14.4) during the regular season.

Seattle defeated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.

#DifferentAnimalSameBeast

Injury Update: Bryant, Nash, Blake, Farmar, Henry and Meeks

ts_140127steveblake670Lakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemUpon returning from their seven-game, 12-day road trip, the Lakers received plenty of news on the injury front after practice on Monday.

According to team spokesman, John Black, everything “went well” for Steve Nash in Vancouver while working with his trainer/physical therapist during the team’s 12-day road trip. Nash was expected to go through practice on Monday, but unrelatedly “tweaked his back,” and thus, did not participate.

“The plan for him is to have a practice on Thursday and he’s basically day-to-day,” Black said. “We’ll update you on whether he’ll play Friday based on how Thursday’s practice goes.”

Nash has been sidelined since Nov. 12 with nerve root irritation. Coach Mike D’Antoni remains hopeful the two-time MVP can return to the court again this season.

“I hope so,” D’Antoni said. “I hope for him. If anybody can do it, he can.”
Both Steve Blake (elbow) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring) have not been cleared for full practices yet, but are able to participate in basketball-related activities, as the two went through today.

“They’ll continue to ramp up through the week as they progress,” Black said. “Neither will play Tuesday or Friday, but the plan on them is to ramp up practices this week and we’ll update both of them at the end of this week.”

Blake was diagnosed with a torn collateral ligament in his right elbow and has been out since Dec. 13. Farmar, meanwhile, has been out since Jan. 3 after suffering a tear in his left hamstring. The UCLA product hurt the same hamstring earlier in the year, but this tear was in a different location. Post practice, Farmar was pleased to just get back on the court with his teammates.

“It was great,” he said. “I’ve been bored. That’s been the hardest thing. With this injury, you don’t feel too injured. It’s not painful; you don’t feel hurt. Just having to sit down, be patient and wait your turn, especially seeing them struggle, I just want to be out there and contribute.”

Xavier Henry (knee strain) went through some on-court work in Miami and was expected to be out another 10-14 days, but visited with a doctor today. There is no new update regarding his injury.

Both Pau Gasol (toe) and Jodie Meeks (foot) did not practice on Monday, but both are expected to play on Tuesday against Indiana.

Hangin’ with the Lakers in Miami

ts_140122kobecanes670After flying into Miami on Tuesday in advance of their Thursday matchup with the Heat, many of the Lakers players caught the Duke Blue Devils-Miami Hurricanes college basketball game in the evening.

Kobe Bryant, who went to class earlier at the University of Miami, received some love from the crowd.

Bryant also has Duke ties with coach Mike Krzyzewksi, whom he played under during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, when USA captured the gold medal both times. Rookie Ryan Kelly, who attended Duke for four years, came to support his alma mater.

Even North Carolina product Kendall Marshall was in attendance, albeit he switched seats with a ‘dook’ fan to sit behind the Hurricanes bench.

Kobe Bryant Goes To College

During the Lakers annual Grammy road trip, Kobe Bryant had some time to attend a couple college classes.

He first made a visit to an international marketing class at Boston College, before the team played at Boston. Bryant addressed the media pregame and said he learned a lot from that night.

“It’s interesting because obviously I’ve been doing a great amount of international marketing for the last 15 years,” he said. “So to sit in a classroom and actually hear the proper terminology for some of the things I’ve been doing was pretty cool.”

Bryant then sat in on a college course on Wednesday, attending a business class at the University of Miami in advance of the Lakers matchup with the Heat on Thursday evening.

Re-examining Kobe’s 81-Point Game

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles LakersOn Jan. 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant recorded the second-highest scoring game in NBA history with 81 points, second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point effort more than 40 years earlier.

That year, Bryant averaged a career-best 35.4 points, to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals on 45.0 percent field goals.

We take a closer look at his historic night below:

FIRST QUARTER:
14 points, 5 of 10 field goals, 4 of 4 free throws
SECOND QUARTER:
12 points, 5 of 8 field goals, 1 of 1 three-pointers, 1 of 2 free throws

FIRST HALF:
26 points, 10 of 18 field goals, 1 of 2 three-pointers, 5 of 6 free throws
First half shot chart, courtesy of NBA.com/stats.
blog_060122_kobe_81_firsthalf

THIRD QUARTER:
27 points, 11 of 15 field goals, 4 of 5 three-pointers, 1 of 1 free throws
FOURTH QUARTER:
28 points, 7 of 13 field goals, 2 of 6 three-pointers, 12 of 13 free throws

SECOND HALF:
55 points, 18 of 28 field goals, 6 of 11 three-pointers, 13 of 14 free throws
Second half shot chart, courtesy of NBA.com/stats.
blog_060122_kobe81_secondhalf

TOTAL:
81 points, 28 of 46 field goals, 7 of 13 three-pointers, 18 of 20 free throws
blog_060122_kobe81_game

MORE ON KOBE BRYANT’S 81-POINT GAME:
- Photo Gallery
- Live Tweets
- Highlights
- Wallpaper

Lakers Injury Update from Miami

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix SunsLakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemHealthy bodies have been quite difficult to find on the court for the Lakers this season, and that trend continued at Wednesday’s session in Miami in which Mike D’Antoni didn’t have enough guys available to play 5-on-5.

Available (nine): Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Nick Young, Manny Harris, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre, Chris Kaman
Unavailable (six): Pau Gasol (foot), Xavier Henry (knee), Jordan Farmar (hamstring), Steve Blake (elbow), Kobe Bryant (knee fracture), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation)

Gasol is the one player off the latter list who will play against the Heat on Thursday evening, as an open wound on his left foot won’t keep him out of game action, despite making it a bit painful to run, jump and cut.

Here’s the update on the Lakers who remain on the shelf:

XAVIER HENRY:
Henry did some running, lateral slide drills and shooting, but did not participate in practice with his teammates on Wednesday. He said he’s progressed from where he was last week with a knee strain suffered on Dec. 29, which has caused him to miss 11 games thus far. Henry has been ruled out of Thursday’s game in Miami and Friday’s in Orlando. He’ll be evaluated over the weekend.

KOBE BRYANT:
Bryant is expected to be evaluated when the team returns to Los Angeles on either Monday, Jan. 27., or Tuesday the 28th. Bryant said that he expected to get an MRI in “February,” but that could apparently come a few days prior to the change of month. Kobe’s been keeping in cardio shape by doing work on a stationary bike, but needs the knee fracture to fully heal before he can resume basketball activities. That said, Bryant has made it clear in respective media sessions in Boston and Chicago that he fully plans on returning as soon as he’s physically able.

STEVE NASH:
Nash has been with his personal physical therapist/trainer working out in Vancouver, trying to improve daily so that he can test out the back, hamstring and nerve root issues that have plagued him this season. He’ll be re-evaluated by the Lakers when the team returns from the road trip just as Bryant is.

STEVE BLAKE:
Originally diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that would take a minimum of six weeks, Blake will visit with his doctor in Los Angeles when the team returns, and a potential return date may be established at the time. One can speculate that it’s going to be a bit longer, as the key word in the original timetable was “minimum.”

JORDAN FARMAR:
Farmar tore his left hamstring in a different spot from an original tear in early December on Dec. 31, and was given a four-week timetable until re-evaluation, which could come at the beginning of February. Don’t be surprised if it’s a couple of weeks after that until Farmar hits the game floor.

Nick Young Impersonates Kobe Bryant

At Friday’s shootaround in advance of the Lakers-Jazz game, Kobe Bryant went through some light set shooting drills at the practice facility.

Word was Bryant would address the media prior to tip-off at STAPLES Center, so naturally, a number of media members gathered around his locker pregame, hoping to speak with him for the first time since Christmas Day. Instead, Nick Young took a seat, drenched in sweat, ball in hand, and did his best Kobe impersonation.

Below is a transcription between Young, Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell and the media:

Mike Trudell: How’s the recovering going?
Young: You know, you seen me shooting a couple shots today. Obviously I’m feeling good. Might make a comeback this Sunday.

MT: What’s it like having the true heart of a lion?
Young: Ah man, as you can from my video I released three weeks ago, it showed the thunder and rain. I feel like I’ve been through it all.

MT: Do you feel like you’re the greatest of all time?
Young: Yeah, of course. I did so much in this game. 30,000-some points. On my way to 31 (thousand). Five rings. Yeah, 18 years. I’m the greatest. What can I say?

MT: Does it hurt your fractured knee when I hit it?
Young: The Mamba … I slither through things. We don’t have bones. What else can I say?

Reporter: What do you think of Nick Young?
Young: Has a lot of potential. I’ll work with him. He’ll be one of the great ones…

MT: Is Nick better than you?
Young: Not in this lifetime.