- Kendrick Perkins targets early February for his return. “To me, I feel like I need about a month-and-a-half [to be playoff-ready],” he said.
- Paul Pierce was rated #19 in Slam Online’s player rankings. This sentence from the column had me dying laughing: “It’s also entirely possible Chris Bosh still has to fit the hotel room bed with rubber sheets the night before playing against Kevin Garnett.”
- GMs give Boston a 100% chance to win the Atlantic, an 18.5% chance to win the East, and a 3.7% chance to win a championship. They say Ray Allen is the league’s purest shooter and Rajon Rondo the best on-the-ball perimeter defender and best defender in the passing lanes. Actually, the entire Celtics team dominated the defensive rankings. Also, more votes.
- John from Red’s Army strongly believes Shaq should come off the bench. I happen to agree, for this reason: Shaq, against second string defenses, can still get buckets.
- Brian Scalabrine on why Tom Thibodeau wanted him in Chicago: “He knows that he can count on me.”
- Kobe Bryant’s the reason we had a recession.
- If Andrew Bynum has one more major knee surgery, his minutes will likely be limited for the rest of his career.
- Jersey advertising has the potential to save the NBA from a lockout. Seriously. English Premier League soccer teams made $155 million off jersey advertising last season. My thoughts? Why the hell not? The basketball will be the same, even if the Boston Celtics become the Armani Jeans Celtics. On second thought… the Armani Jeans Celtics?
- Adrian Wojnarowski on the passing of the torch in Miami: “Opening night of the preseason, Wade was pushed to the side and everyone saw they could leave him the captain, the spokesman, the last man introduced to the laser light show. They could leave everything in place for Dwyane Wade except for the fact that the Miami Heat no longer belong to him. A force of nature showed on the shores of Biscayne Bay, grabbed the ball and never looked back. Maybe this is still D-Wade’s city and franchise, but this is LeBron James’ team now. King James doesn’t do deferential.”
- I’m pretty sure I could score 10 points per game in the NBA if I had low-post lessons from Hakeem Olajuwon. Hakeem’s forgotten more post moves than most players ever learn. Which makes the thought of him teaching Dwight Howard positively frightening.
Posts tagged: Kobe Bryant
Andrew Bynum proved his toughness last season, bearing brutal pain each night so he could compete in the playoffs. He then spent the summer proving his stupidity, postponing surgery so he could have some offseason fun. When training camp arrives, Bynum won’t be ready to play. He’s even likely to miss the entire postseason, and possibly opening night. Hmm.
You see, Bynum decided traveling the globe without crutches was more important than recovery. He wanted to enjoy South Africa’s World Cup, and later a vacation in Europe, without limping around on crutches. Bynum even had his knee drained for his trips, looking to have as much fun as possible. Who can blame him? It’s not like Bynum has a $13.7 million contract to live up to. Wait, he does? And he still decided to postpone surgery a month? Oh. Well, wouldn’t YOU get sick of offseason rehab every. single. year?
Bynum expected to be ready for the beginning of training camp despite the postponed surgery, but doctors found more damage than expected. As the O.C. Register’s Kevin Ding wrote, “It was Bynum’s choice to enjoy himself, assuming he’d be fine by the time the 2010-11 season came – even though his complications with knees are well known and his past healings have been measured by sundial.”
“That is why you do it earlier instead of later, just in case,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told the LA Times.
But hey, Mitch, look on the positive side. Your oft-injured seven foot center may be missing training camp and potentially opening night, but at least he saw the World Cup! At least he had a blast in Europe!
Bynum’s curious decision could hurt his relationships with teammates and coaches. Bynum had hardened on the court last season, earning Kobe Bryant’s confidence by enduring pain that would have left a younger Bynum sidelined.
“He is doing a great job,” Bryant said at the time. “He’s playing through an injury. Sometimes you have to do that. I think it shows maturity for the young player to start figuring out how to play around that and do different things to be effective despite the injury. That’s how you grow.”
I wonder what Kobe thinks now.
Mitch Kupchak: Kobe, while you worked out 18 times a day this summer, your largest teammate decided watching soccer was more important than recovering from injury.
Kobe: Did I once say he was maturing? Pshh. I bet you a million bucks The Big Immature misses at least ten playoff games next season.
In all honesty, the Lakers aren’t going to win or lose the NBA championship in training camp, and they aren’t going to win or lose it on opening night. Bynum’s injury, taken by itself, remains a minor setback for the team and nothing else. But when you consider that the Lakers, and his own health, were lower priorities on Bynum’s list than kicking it in foreign countries, Bynum’s maturity can — and should — still be questioned.
Last year, Andrew Bynum finally proved his toughness.
Now he just has to grow up.
Look, I hate Kobe Bryant as much as the next Celtics fan. My qualms with him are many, mostly having to do with the fact that he’s as phony a person as you’d never want to meet. But I respect the hell out of the way he plays basketball, and his indomitable desire to improve himself, to win.
These highlights of Kobe scoring 43 points during a high school game, as incredible as they are, only highlight his fierce will to perfect his craft. As ridiculous as his moves were even in high school, it’s weird seeing Kobe Bryant play when his footwork wasn’t absolutely pristine, when his game still contained some wasted motion, when not every single move he made was perfectly calculated to score a bucket. Kobe was amazing even in high school, but his game had flaws. You can see how hard he’s worked to remove those small inadequacies and become the most fundamental basketball player to ever walk the planet.
Okay, now that I’ve slobbered all over Kobe’s nuts for a little while, please excuse me while I go puke for the next 10-12 hours.
Wyc Grousbeck was devastated by the Game That Must Not Be Named, just like we were. He then watched the Miami Heat put together a so-called Super Team, just like we did. He heard Jeff Van Gundy claim the Heat would break every win mark ever set, just like we heard. He saw the Heat’s celebratory WWE Event party, where Lebron predicted eight — yes, eight — championships, just like we saw.
Unlike us, Wyc could actually do something about it.
“We were already going to try and get better, get tougher,” Grousbeck told CSNNE.com. “But then the Miami thing just took it to a new level.”
You know the rest. The Celtics put together a 2000 All-Star team, then sprinkled Von Wafer and Delonte West on top. Chemistry could still be a problem, some analysts say. But Wyc doesn’t agree. He believes the same thing that draws quality free agents to Boston, a complete dedication to winning, should keep the newcomers in check. Read more »
This picture is so weird I’m not even going to begin trying to describe it.
Instead, I’m simply going to take this time to apologize for the shortage of posts today, and then give a few excuses. 1) I feel miserable. Not only do I have a back spasm, but I also feel like Shaq has been sitting on my head since I woke up. 2) I’ve spent way too much time writing emails pondering why Marquis Daniels played badly last season. Seriously. And 3) There’s no such thing as NBA news right now. Not unless you count Pat Riley “hinting” that Lebron James could play point guard next season. Which, I’ve got to say, scares the bejesus out of me.
P.S. – Eff the Lakers, and eff Kobe.
“I’m not worried about a guy that has five and I helped him get three.” – Shaq.
I’ll add something to Shaq’s little dig at Kobe: Shaq was the Finals MVP in all three titles the dynamic duo shared. Do you like apples, Kobe? How do you like them apples?
Okay, I’m now done being a homer. Temporarily, I’m sure.