Tag Archives: Celtics

Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo have Breakfast of Champions

NBA All-Stars Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo met for breakfast  as the Los Angeles Lakers were in town to face the Boston Celtics. The two had apparently planned for months to get together.

But what type of ‘get together’ have they been coordinating? Were the two discussing a possible trade scenario that would align them in the back-court? Bryant would welcome such a merger.

“What guard have you seen at his size that will get you 18 assists, 17 boards and 20 points all in one game? That’s unheard of. I love that kid. I always make a point of talking to him during All-Star Weekend. He’s one of my favorites,” said Bryant to ESPN.

The Lakers could conceivably trade for Rondo. They own Houston’s first-round pick and could include Steve Nash and his $9.7 million expiring contract. The Lakers are reluctant to relinquish another first-round pick which ultimately makes the deal unlikely.

The Lakers current point guard Jeremy Lin is coming off a 0 point, 0-10 shooting game. An upgrade in production at that position is needed if the Lakers want to become competitive in the guard dominant Western Conference.

It’s not uncommon for Lakers and Celtics to fellowship during the season. Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell would stay at each others homes at the peak of their rivalry.

Bryant also had a private dinner in Beverly Hills this past summer with Michael Jordan. Not only is his game in a class of its own but so is his hobnobbing.

 

 

 

Kobe Bryant still building legacy brick-by-brick

The case against Kobe Bryant officially began with a set of missed field-goal attempts.

The Lakers were eliminated in overtime of Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals when Bryant shot an air-ball at the end of regulation, followed by another that would have tied the game in the extra period. He was comforted by his  teammate Shaquille O’Neal who encouraged him to keep shooting the ball. It was advice that would ironically contribute to their division years later.

Kobe Bryant hasn’t stopped shooting. He became the NBA’s all-time leader in missed field-goals during the Lakers 102-107 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. As infamous as it sounds, being known as the player who has missed the most shots means you have been around long enough to take them.
It wasn’t a forgone conclusion that Kobe Bryant would miss the most shots in NBA history. He had a mere 176 attempts during the regular season of his rookie year. To put it in perspective, fellow 96 draft class rookie Antoine Walker hoisted away 1,354 attempts for the Boston Celtics. It took Bryant two seasons and change to become the starting shooting-guard for the Lakers after Eddie Jones was traded to the Charlotte Hornets during the 1999 lockout season.

Kobe has been consistently good for so long that the evolution of his game is taken for granted. Unlike LeBron James, Bryant wasn’t given the green-light as a rookie. He even endured DNP’s under coach Del Harris when he was known as “Showtime” because of his flashy play in practice. But Bryant still had to earn minutes behind Eddie Jones and current Head Coach Byron Scott.

And he kept shooting.

He quickly earned the reputation as an introvert by choosing not to be a part of the Hollywood club scene with known playboys like Shaq and Rick Fox. His competitive nature and aggressiveness got around the league quickly, and the elder statesman started laying the wood as a right of passage. It all culminated with a fight with Chris Childs against the New York Knicks during the Lakers 2000 championship run. The nationally televised game between the two most popular teams in the NBA was the graduation of Kobe Bryant into superstar status.

His longevity has masked the fact that he’s played in seven seasons of 70 games or less. It took him five years before he completed an 80 game NBA season.

Bryant hasn’t ceased firing away, continuing to add bricks to the foundation he’s set. He has the chance to join Michael Jordan as the only players to lead the league in scoring at 36-years old. He has displayed that athleticism is still very much a part of his game, and although they won’t admit it, many analyst privately expressed that Bryant would no longer be an all-star after the layoff.

Kobe said he would rather go 0-30 instead of 0-9. He’s missed the most shots because he’s had the drive to make the most.

 

Clippers have team meeting, but Doc Rivers isn’t impressed

The Clippers held a players-only meeting after suffering a 121-104 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said in practice today that the meeting of the minds was beneficial.

“It helped guys clear the air,” said Crawford. “I think the main point was just to get on the same page, everybody needs to be playing on the same page. The important thing is we understand that you have to go through the process.”

But Head Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t believe in such group sessions.

“I’m not fan of team meetings,” admitted Rivers. “When I hear about some team having a team meeting I’m like I want to play those guys.”

The Way They Were

The Clippers may have many of the same players that got them to the Western Conference semifinals, but Rivers contends this isn’t the same team.

“We deal with people, not X’s and O’s,” he explained. “The names might be the same, but this isn’t the same team I had last year.”

No Rest Down The Stretch

When asked if he would mirror San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich’s style of resting his star players during certain parts of the season, Doc Rivers said he’d been there and done that.

“If you remember we did that in Boston in 2012,” recalled Rivers. “I used the last month of the season to have a second training-camp. We had two and a half hour practices, and we sacrificed a lot games down the stretch because of it.”

The Celtics had home-court advantage on the line in the final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks who they were to face in the first-round. Rivers rested his starters and ceded home-court to the Hawks. The move proved to be brilliant in the end with the rested aging Celtics winning the series 4-2.

“We played Atlanta the last game of the season and could have had home-court advantage, but we rested our starters and said just let them have it,” added Rivers. It was a gamble but it paid off in the end. I obviously won’t be able to do that with this team.”

 

Interview With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, gives a rare interview, and talks about the Harlem Renaissance, meeting John Wooden the year Malcolm X was assassinated, and whether or not Magic Johnson should have passed him the ball instead of shooting the baby sky-hook against the Boston Celtics.