Tag Archives: Michael Jordan

Nick Van Exel Interview

Nick Van Exel spent 13 seasons in the NBA handling the rock and breaking ankles. The former All-Star is now calling plays from the sideline as head coach for the Texas Legends in the NBA Developmental League.

Van Exel spoke with RunTheTriangle.comb exclusively at the 2016 NBA D-League Showcase about his transition to coaching, the 1995 Lakers vs. Celtics playoffs series, and how he knew Kobe Bryant would be the next Michael Jordan from what he saw in practice.

Michael Jordan Has Brotherly Love For Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan made it abundantly clear about his feelings regarding Kobe Bean Bryant during his 20th annual Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, California.

“Even though he stole all my moves, but that’s OK. I still love him like a brother,” proclaimed the iconic Jordan.

“I think he’s one of the great players of the game, I think he’s done a lot for the game, and he has a true love for the game of basketball,” he continued. “I absolutely have high regard for Kobe Bryant.”

Mainly anonymous sources, along with some players and coaches around the league, have been known to make Bryant out to be a competitive yet treacherous nomad with whom nobody gets along.  A few others have tabbed him as the reason the Los Angles Lakers have been unable to land big name free-agents lately. And then there’s that whole Shaq thing.

But when the greatest player in the game expresses high regard and love for you, how much does the opinion of Jared Dudley really matter?

We discuss how the power of Michael Jordan’s love exceeds any hate for Kobe Bryant in this edition of P.A.G.E. 24.

 

Versus: Kobe v LeBron – Who Had More Help?

As LeBron James enters his sixth NBA Finals competition, the comparisons and contrasts with his superstar peers are made. Kobe Bryant has 5 rings with the Los Angeles Lakers, but many analysts do not credit his first three (2000-2002) as being a part of his individual accomplishments. Still, LeBron clearly joined Dwyane Wade and Chirs Bosh in Miami because he grew weary of trying to win it on his own, and collected back-to-back titles with the Heat.

Here is a statistical breakdown of Kobe’s three trips to the NBA Finals (without Shaq) and LeBron’s first three trips to the Finals along with their supporting casts numbers.

 

Celtics 2008 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (CELTICS 4-2)

Kobe 25.7 4.7reb 5.0asst

Gasol 14.7 10.2reb 3.3asst

Odom 13.5 9.0reb 3.0asst

(Bynum Didn’t participate in series)

 

Lakers 2009 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-1)

Kobe 32.4 5.6reb 7.4asst

Gasol avg 18.6 9.2reb 2.2ast

Odom 13.4, 7.4 reb 0.8ast

Bynum  6pts 4reb 0.6 asst

 

LAKERS 2010 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-3)

Kobe 28.6 8.0reb 3.9asst

Gasol 18.6 11.6reb 3.7asst

Metta World Peace 10.6 4.3reb 1.3 asst

Bynum 7.4 5.1reb


SPURS 2007 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-0)

Bron 22.0 7.0reb 6.8asst
MAVERICKS 2011 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-2)

WADE 26.5 7.0reb 5.2 asst

Bron 17.8 7.2reb 6.8asst

BOSH 18.5 7.3 reb 1.0asst

Chalmers avg 11.8 2.7reb 3.5 asst

HEAT 2012 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONS (4-2)

Bron 28.6 10.2reb 7.4asst

Wade 22.6 6.0reb 5.2asst

Bosh 14.6 9.4reb

Battier 11.4

Chalmers 10.4 2.6reb 4.0asst

 

Former Lakers Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton battle as coaches in the NBA Finals

Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, and Kurt Rambis played meaningful roles with the Los Angles Lakers, combining for 12 NBA championships as players, and six as coaches. Shaw and Rambis were assistants on Phil Jackson’s staff, and Fisher is  currently head coach of the New York Knicks. But it’s two unlikely bit players in the Lakers Dynasties, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton, who are now on the cusp of adding another ring.

Lue twice won titles in L.A. (2000 & 2001), and is most remembered for being stepped over by Allen Iverson in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals. He is now an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending the past five seasons in Boston and Los Angeles on the bench with Doc Rivers.

Walton won a title with the Lakers in 2010, and had a stint as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis during the 2011 NBA lockout before joining Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors this season.

Both work closely in player development, each possessing a wealth of experience from having played on championship teams with MVP’s. Walton has an NBA father like Steph Curry and was tootled by Phil Jackson like Steve Kerr. Lue was teammates with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan over a span of four seasons, and was a part of the Lakers team that won a title with a 16-1 playoff record.

Kerr spurned Phil and the Knicks to put the finishing touches on what former coach Mark Jackson built. But although his tenure as president has gotten off to a rocky start with the Knicks, there should be a degree off satisfaction for Phil Jackson seeing his former players compete in the roles of coaches for an NBA championship.

Can Kobe Bryant get born again?

The Los Angeles Lakers need deliverance. They must exorcise the demons of the past three seasons in order to receive restoration. Much of that depends on the return of Kobe Bryant for his 20th NBA season.

Bryant set down with Ahmad Rashad for an exclusive interview and discussed his killer instinct, and the desire to return to glory. He cited the San Antonio Spurs success, and said he wants his career to mimic their rebirth to championship form.

So can Kobe get born again? We discuss this in the latest chapter of P.A.G.E. 24.

 

XXIV, PAGE 24, Lakers

Reggie Miller Fights The Ghost Of Kobe Bryant

TNT Analyst Reggie Miller is an expert on defending oneself against Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He’s had the unique opportunity to battle each in the NBA playoffs and on-court scuffles. Miller recently appeared on the Dan Patrick Show where he compared the two:

No question. Michael Jordan on his worst day is 10 times better than Kobe Bryant on his best day, and that is not short-changing Kobe Bryant because he gave me my lunch-pail too. Michael Jordan on his worst day I will take over Kobe Bryant on his best day.

Kobe Bryant, Lakers Sell Magic Beans

When he isn’t dishing out punishment in practice, Kobe Bryant is handing out assists for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Having grown weary of the spotty play of point guard Jeremy Lin, Head Coach Byron Scott has used Bryant as the primary ball handler in the back-court along with Nick Young. It has been an early success with the Lakers picking up consecutive victories against the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs.

Bryant has played facilitator before in his career in Phil Jackson’s Triangle Offense. The Triangle didn’t require a traditional point guard, but an “initiator” who could start the offense. After the conclusion of the Shaquille O’Neal era, Bryant became the Apex of the offense where plays would go through him that setup shots for others.

Nick Young scored 29 points in the Lakers’ 112-110 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Kobe Bryant finished with nine assists and is only nine points away from replacing Michale Jordan for number three on the NBA’s All-Time Scorers list.

Continuing A Historic Season

He became the all-time leader in missed field-goals, the only player to score over 30,000 points with 6,000 assists, and is eight points away from tying Michael Jordan in career points. Now Kobe Bryant is about to add a defensive accomplishment to the list.

Bryant is tied with James Worthy for sixth on the Lakers’ career blocks list with 624, and needs five blocks to pass Andrew Bynum for fifth all-time.  Ahead of Bynum is Vlade Divac (834), Elden Campbell (1022) Shaquille O’Neal (1278), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2694).

 

 

 

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.