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Phil Jackson Has Opt-Out In Knicks' Contract In 2016 Or 2017

Feb 10, 2016 5:19 PM

Phil Jackson has an opt-out clause in his contract with the New York Knicks after the 16-17 season.

It was previously reported by Frank Isola that Jackson could exercise an opt-out this offseason.

Jackson joined the Knicks as team president in 2014.

Jackson has been linked to a return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Chris Broussard/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Lakers Offered Kobe Bryant For LeBron James In 2007

Feb 10, 2016 11:39 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers reached out to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2007 about a trade of Kobe Bryant for LeBron James.

Bryant was 28 years old and at the peak of his prime but he was frustrated with the state of the Lakers and seeking a trade. Bryant was under contract for two more seasons.

"At that time, the Lakers had to do something. I was just losing faith in what they were trying to do. It was like I was a meal ticket," Bryant told ESPN's Baxter Holmes this week. "You come out and score 40, 50 points, fill the seats, we're going to keep the payroll at a minimum, generate revenue. It's like, look, listen, I am not with that, dude. I have to win without Shaq. I've got to do it. We've got to do something."

James was just 22 and coming off a trip to The Finals and signed for three more seasons.

The Cavaliers' front office remembers it as the only trade call with an offer for James.

Cleveland attempted to make the Lakers a different offer for Bryant that excluded James.

"I never would've approved it. Never. The trade to go to Cleveland? Never," Bryant told Holmes. "That wasn't one of the teams that was on my list. It was Chicago, San Antonio (or) Phoenix."

The Lakers were unable to get a deal done with the Bulls because Bryant didn't approve of Luol Deng being included. A deal with the Detroit Pistons was also agreed upon for Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton, but Bryant didn't have the Pistons on his list.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kobe Bryant On 38 Points: You've Seen It For 20 Damn Years

Feb 3, 2016 11:37 AM

Ten years after scoring 81 points against Sam Mitchell's Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant scored 38 points against Mitchell's Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bryant scored a season-high 38 points in 33 minutes, going 7-for-11 on three-pointers at the age of 37.

"I hate him," Mitchell said afterward. "If I don't ever see him again, it will be too soon. I hate him."

Bryant downplayed his performance.

"You've seen it for 20 damn years," he said. "What are you impressed by?

"It's like, tonight I made shots I was supposed to make. I made open looks and I made them. Then when that happens, you tend to get in a rhythm. You start making a little more difficult shots."

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Byron Scott Not Expected To Be Fired By Lakers In-Season

Feb 2, 2016 11:47 AM

Byron Scott is expected to remain head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers at least through the end of the current season.

The final two-and-a-half months of the season will be considered a trial of sorts.

Scott has received criticism for being too tough on the Lakers' young players and some wonder if the game has passed him by in this era of analytics.

"I am who I am," Scott told The Times. "Pat Riley wasn't easy on us. Larry Brown wasn't easy on me [in Indiana]. I think that's the reason I was successful because I had a coach that pushed me and tried to get the very best out of me.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm no different. I want to see how great these guys can be. I want to push them to the limit. I want to push them to things they've never done before. If that's being too tough, so be it."

Ben Bolch/Los Angeles times

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Lakers To Build Shaquille O'Neal Statue Outside Staples Center

Jan 28, 2016 10:09 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor Shaquille O'Neal with a statue outside of Staples Center during the 16-17 season.

"We look forward to having Shaq join the other legends who have been honored with statues at STAPLES Center," Jeanie Buss, Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. "He is a giant not only in size, but also in stature and in what he accomplished as a Laker. Shaq literally broke the ground for the site, and was hugely responsible for not only getting STAPLES Center built, but for making it one of the most successful and famous arenas in the world. It's an honor that is well deserved."

O'Neal played eight seasons for the Lakers (1996-2004), teaming with Kobe Bryant to win the championship in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

The Lakers retired O'Neal's jersey in April 2013, and his statue will join those of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya outside Staples Center, which opened in 1999.

ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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D'Angelo Russell Benched For 'Trying To Take Over Game'

Jan 27, 2016 10:42 AM

D'Angelo Russell was benched by Byron Scott late in the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Dallas Mavericks, apparently for his shot selection.

"I saw the last couple minutes that he was in that he was really trying to take over the game, and that's not him yet," Scott said. "I want the ball to move a little bit. I thought it stuck with him. He tried to make the big shots and things like that. I understand that, but to me, that's not him right now."

 

In general, Scott said of Russell, "He's been more aggressive to score. I think sometimes he's taking what they're giving him, and I think there's other times where I think he's kind of forcing the issue. He has to find a happy medium. He's learning."

 

Russell finished the game with 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

"We had four, five playmaking players out there," Russell said. "I feel like everybody was trying to [take over]. They're a veteran team. They rarely mess up. So when you catch them slipping a little bit, you've got to take advantage of it."

"I love the fact that he has confidence," Scott said. "When it gets to the point where it's cockiness, then we've got a problem."

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Kobe Bryant: AAU 'Absolutely Horrible' For Basketball

Jan 24, 2016 3:20 PM

Kobe Bryant continues to be an outspoken critic of how AAU basketball has impacted the modern game.

"I hate it because it doesn't teach our players how to play the right way, how to think the game, how to play in combinations of threes," said Bryant.

"I think everything is a reward system. I think the coaches who are teaching the game are getting rewarded in one fashion or another. It's just a showcase. I think it's absolutely horrible for the game."

Bryant believes younger players lack certain fundamentals.

"Yeah, but I think that is just by luck in the generation that I grew up in," he said. "My generation is when AAU basketball really started becoming s---. I got lucky because I grew up in Europe and everything there was still fundamental, so I learned all the basics."

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kobe Bryant Scores Five Points On 10-Year Anniversary Of Scoring 81

Jan 23, 2016 2:27 PM

Kobe Bryant scored just five points on the 10th year anniversary of scoring 81 in 2006 against the Toronto Raptors.

Bryant went 2-for-9 in 27 minutes in the Los Angeles Lakers' 108-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Bryant was asked if he believes another player could match or surpass his 81-point game.

"I think so," he said. "It's just a matter of -- you have to believe that it's possible. You've got to be in tip-top shape to be able to do it, too. It takes a lot of energy and the ability to carry that energy for the duration of the game."

The Lakers featured the 2006 game on the ticket stub and commemorative t-shirts sold out by halftime.

Associated Press

Tags: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Kawhi Leonard, Carmelo Anthony Get Final ASG Starter Spots

Jan 21, 2016 7:08 PM

Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are the five starters for the Western Conference in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.

Leonard beat out Zaza Pachulia and Draymond Green for the final frontcourt spot. Pachulia overtook Green in the voting before the final return.

LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Kyle Lowry are the Eastern Conference starters.

Western Conference
Frontcourt
1. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,891,614
2. Kevin Durant (OKC) 980,787
3. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 782,339
4. Zaza Pachulia (Dal) 768,112
5. Draymond Green (GS) 726,616
6. Blake Griffin (LAC) 651,860
7. Enes Kanter (OKC) 534,499
8. Tim Duncan (SA) 431,087
9. Anthony Davis (NO) 400,688
10. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 364,270
11. DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 269,427
12. LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 268,003
13. Dwight Howard (Hou) 219,761
14. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 173,317
15. Harrison Barnes (GS) 155,289

Guards
1. Stephen Curry (GS) 1,604,325
2. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 772,009
3. Chris Paul (LAC) 624,334
4. Klay Thompson (GS) 555,513
5. James Harden (Hou) 430,777
6. Manu Ginobili (SA) 226,289
7. Rajon Rondo (Sac) 200,518
8. Tony Parker (SA) 195,472
9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 181,142
10. Damian Lillard (Por) 158,360

Eastern Conference
Frontcourt
1. LeBron James (Cle) 1,089,206
2. Paul George (Ind) 711,595
3. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 567,348
4. Pau Gasol (Chi) 566,988
5. Andre Drummond (Det) 515,296
6. Kristaps Porzingis (NY) 473,579
7. Chris Bosh (Mia) 351,420
8. Kevin Love (Cle) 332,685
9. Hassan Whiteside (Mia) 301,362
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 84,617
11. Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 73,079
12. Joakim Noah (Chi) 48,509
13. DeMarre Carroll (Tor) 46,044
14. Marcin Gortat (Was) 43,496
15. Paul Millsap (Atl) 41,654

Guards
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 941,466
2. Kyle Lowry (Tor) 646,441
3. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 580,651
4. Jimmy Butler (Chi) 564,637
5. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 444,868
6. John Wall (Was) 368,686
7. Derrick Rose (Chi) 302,389
8. Jeremy Lin (Cha) 195,920
9. Isaiah Thomas (Bos) 153,642
10. Reggie Jackson (Det) 76,688

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA All-Star

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LeBron, Durant, Kobe In Top-3 Of Highest Total Earnings

Jan 20, 2016 1:12 PM

LeBron James has the most earning power of current NBA players with $71 million in combined player contract salary and endorsements.

James earns $23 million from the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is the third highest salary in the NBA. James can opt out of his contract again in 2016 to sign a supermax under the rising salary cap.

James makes $48 million off the court in endorsements. His new Nike deal will be determined by shoe sales going forward, but is expect to go well beyond $500 million. James’ career earnings are approaching $600 million, including endorsements.

Kevin Durant ranks second with earnings of $56.2 million, including $36 million from sponsors.

1. LeBron James: $71 million
2. Kevin Durant: $56.2 million
3. Kobe Bryant: $50 million
4. Derrick Rose: $34.1 million
5. James Harden: $32.8 million
6. Dwyane Wade: $32 million
7. Carmelo Anthony: $30.9 million
8. Chris Paul: $30 million
9. Dwight Howard: $27.4 million
10. Blake Griffin: $26.9 million

Kurt Badenhausen/Forbes

Tags: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Kobe Bryant Rules Himself Out Of 2016 Olympics
Kobe Bryant played for the United States in 2008 and 2012 in the Olympics.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Vitti Recommends Lakers Rest Kobe Bryant's Achilles Injury For 1-2 Weeks
Kobe Bryant said his Achilles was feeling better on Wednesday.

Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

Lakers To Offer DeMar DeRozan Max Contract
The Lakers are prepared to offer DeMar DeRozan a max contract in the offseason starting at $25 million per season.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Lakers Trying To Work Trade Market
The Lakers are unlikely to make a major move.

Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen And Roll

D'Angelo Russell: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
D'Angelo Russell scored a career-high 27 points including 19 in the second half against the Kings.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Kobe Bryant Continues To Lead All-Star Game Voting In 2nd Returns
The current starters for the Western Conference are Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Russell Westbrook.

RealGM Staff Report

Kupchak: Lakers' 15-16 Season About Celebrating Career Of Kobe Bryant
Mitch Kupchak admitted the Lakers' 15-16 season is more about honoring Kobe Bryant than developing their younger players.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Lakers May Retire Both No. 8, 24 For Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant won three titles wearing No. 8 and two more with No. 24 while also winning an MVP.

Kelly Dwyer/Yahoo! Sports

Vlade Divac Wanted To Retire When Traded By Lakers For Kobe Bryant
Vlade Divac was stunned when informed of the trade.

Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Kobe Bryant Misses 2nd Straight Game With Sore Shoulder
Kobe Bryant tore the rotator cuff in his shoulder in late January 2015 during a dunk in New Orleans.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Kobe Bryant Leads All Players In All-Star Voting
Kobe Bryant has received 719,235 votes.

RealGM Staff Report

Kobe Bryant Has 'Zero' Thoughts About Rethinking Retirement After 31-Point Game
Kobe Bryant scored 31 points in a 111-107 road win by the Lakers at the Nuggets.

Pat Graham/Associated Press

Kobe Bryant 'Would Have Loved To Play Overseas'
Kobe Bryant has fully ruled out playing overseas.

Mark Medina/Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers Assign Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly To D-Fenders
Ryan Kelly scored a game-high 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the pairís first appearance of the season on December 13th.

RealGM Staff Report

Nick Young Records First Assist To Kobe Bryant
Nick Young has averaged less than 2.0 assists per 36 minutes in each of his two-plus seasons with the Lakers.

Eric Pincus/Los Angeles Times

Silver: Kobe Bryant Deserves To Be In 2016 All-Star Game
Kobe Bryant is a 17-time NBA All-Star and has won the All-Star Game MVP on four separate occasions.

Jeff Zillgitt/USA Today

D'Angelo Russell: More Ball Movement Without Kobe Bryant
D'Angelo Russell was disappointed about being taken out of the starting lineup but he found more freedom playing without Kobe Bryant.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Byron Scott Told By Kobe Of Retirement Plans During Game
Kobe Bryant informed Byron Scott of his plans to retire during the middle of a game last Saturday.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Kobe Bryant Would Love To Play In 2016 Olympics
Kobe Bryant could be included on the roster similar to Jason Kidd's presence on the 2008 team at the age of 35.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Byron Scott Unlikely To Be Fired, Viewed As 'Innocent Bystander'
Byron Scott signed a four-year, $17 million deal with the Lakers in 2014, but the contract is only guaranteed through 16-17.

Sam Amick/USA Today

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