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Kobe Bryant: Inspirational texter

Forum Blue and Gold/NBC Los Angeles's Kurt Helin (who got wind of the news through the New York Times) recently wrote a piece about Kobe Bryant buoying the spirits of Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young through a series of texts.  The timing of these messages happened to coincide with Young getting back on field and steadily regaining his footing, and the QB has expressed gratitude for 24's concern. 

I asked Kobe after Tuesday's game against the Hornets about what prompted the interaction with Young.  Here's what he had to say:




I found particularly interesting Bryant expressing an ability to relate to Young. Obviously, on a purely professional level, he's never experienced the Longhorn legend's recent lows. I don't think Kobe's even endured a "bad" season, much less one where he lost his starting job and people wondered whether or not he had a future in the league. But Bryant does know what it's like to be harshly "written off," whether you're talking about the on/off-court image rehab he's successfully undergone or simply shutting up those claiming he'd never win a title without Shaq.  For his part, Young has dealt with questions about his mental stability, intelligence (Wunderlich nonsense) and drive. He also felt a particularly strong loss with the passing of Steve McNair, who'd served as a mentor for the fellow Titans slinger, meaning additional sources of advice and perspective were likely needed.  In any event, I thought it was pretty cool of Kobe to reach out like that,  And I'm glad to see Young enjoying success after a rough 1-2 years. 

Helin noted how Bryant, while rising to back to the top, had to drown out the critics, a message likely passed along to Young.  But Kobe also emphasized a need to keep the foot on the gas while things are running on all cylinders, because goodwill can be temperamental and subject to gravity's pull.

"If he has two bad games, everybody goes back to talking a bunch of (smack)," noted Kobe with a sly grin.

AK

 
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I hate old threads, so I'll continue an old conversation here:


The real question is, how many of the players in the top 50 of that NBA poll would you trade, straight up, to get Andrew Bynum? Here's my list:

7. Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics


10. Paul Pierce, SF, Celtics
11. Steve Nash(notes), PG, Suns


13. Tony Parker(notes), PG, Spurs


15. Yao Ming(notes), C, Rockets
16. Shaquille O’Neal(notes), C, Cavaliers


20. Chauncey Billups(notes), PG, Nuggets


22. Manu Ginobili(notes), SG, Spurs
23. Jason Kidd(notes), PG, Mavericks
24. Tracy McGrady(notes), SG, Rockets
25. Joe Johnson(notes), SG, Hawks
26. Derrick Rose(notes), PG, Bulls
27. Ray Allen(notes), SG, Celtics
28. Gilbert Arenas(notes), PG, Wizards
29. Ron Artest(notes), SF, Lakers
30. Vince Carter(notes), SG, Magic


32. Baron Davis(notes), PG, Clippers
33. Devin Harris(notes), PG, Nets
34. Ben Gordon(notes), SG, Pistons
35. Al Horford(notes), C, Hawks
36. Carlos Boozer(notes), PF, Jazz
37. Nene, C, Nuggets
38. Rajon Rondo(notes), PG, Celtics
39. Andre Iguodala(notes), SG, 76ers
40. Josh Smith(notes), PF, Hawks
41. Rudy Gay(notes), SF, Grizzlies
42. Hedo Turkoglu(notes), SF, Raptors
43. Lamar Odom(notes), SF, Lakers
44. Shane Battier(notes), SF, Rockets
45. Elton Brand(notes), PF, 76ers
46. Richard Jefferson(notes), SF, Spurs
47. O.J. Mayo(notes), SG, Grizzlies
48. Charlie Villanueva(notes), PF, Pistons
49. Michael Redd(notes), SG, Bucks


There are basically 14 players on that list that you'd have to add a player to Bynum make the deal. Even Duncan, in a vacuum, should be trade fodder for Bynum at this point in their careers. Maybe. Maybe Duncan and Dirk should be put back on my list. Maybe not.


And Ron, you are one hard core dude. That's not a pretty picture he has hanging in his past. But, the man is changing his life and like a 12 step program, when you take those steps toward change, you don't go blindly. You look into these dark spaces.


But man, be careful. Don't be pimpin drug dealers. I'm talking about the article someone posted. Lakertruth maybe.


Wes

So, in other words, the only players on that list worth more than Bynum to a team's future would be:


1. Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
2. LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers
3. Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
4. Dwight Howard, C, Magic
5. Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs
6. Chris Paul, PG, Hornets


8. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
9. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets


12. Deron Williams(notes), PG, Jazz


14. Brandon Roy(notes), SG, Trail Blazers


17. Pau Gasol(notes), PF, Lakers
18. Chris Bosh(notes), PF, Raptors
19. Amare Stoudemire, PF, Suns


21. Kevin Durant(notes), SF, Thunder


31. Danny Granger(notes), SF, Pacers


That's it. Those are the only ones I'd say have a higher value to a team than Bynum, and even that list may dwindle as the year progresses.


Wes


AK,
- - - - - - - -
Thanks for bringing the Kobe – Vince story up. I read the original in the Sunday New York Times but never got around to commenting on it. What a great thing for Kobe to do. I am sure that it meant the world for Vince. Kobe is on his way towards his second regular season MVP.

With all the talk about Tiger, Ralph Barbieri on our local talk radio had an interesting take on Kobe Bryant when a fan asked about the similarities between the cases, mainly two marketing perfect superstar athletes with god-like status being brought to their knees, the difference being, of course, that there are no criminal charges involved in Tiger’s case. Here is the gist of what Ralph said”

“I think that after Colorado, Kobe developed a real us-against-the-world demeanor and a chip on his shoulder that I think he still carries today. It has made him an edgier and tougher player.”

I think Ralph is probably correct. Kobe is edgier and tougher because of Colorado. He is the ultimate competitor and I am sure he remembers every slight to him and his own. He may forgive but he won’t forget. I mean, do you notice that despite the desire to stick out in the NBA with the craziest hairstyle or tat, we don’t see any more crazy players proclaiming themselves to be Kobe stoppers any more. That will be Boston Celtic’s problem should we meet them in the Finals. Kobe will be hell bent upon revenge. He has been honed by fire and storm to win. First, Boston. Then, LeBron. I’ll bet you.

What Tiger is going through right now is nothing compared to the hell Kobe underwent in Colorado. All it takes it is 1 crazy woman, 1 publicity hound district attorney, and 1 naïve amateurish NBA player who likely got caught the first time he cheated on his wife. For that, he risked going to prison for life and being legally prevented from seeing his children. I have long considered myself to be quite a liberal and very pro-feminist but I still have bitter emotions over the reactions of so many women that the charges were true, even though it was obvious to most legal experts that the case was a farce from the beginning and a travesty on justice and a blot on Colorado and feminism.
- - - - - - - -
Tom


I just happen to be watching the Spurs/Celtics game and the Spurs seems lost on offense and confused on defense. Its almost as if they tried to combine new age athleticism with old school defense. The Spurs have no identity and the Celtics are just plain hot garbage.

BACK FROM THE GRAVE…
- - - - - - - -
Thanks to all of you for the great posts the last few days. I’ve been deathly ill since Monday night with that damn Swine Flue. I have to say that was the worst flu attack I have ever had. I wouldn’t even have wished this on the Celtics. LOL. It was so bad that I couldn’t even garner the energy to watch the Lakers versus the Hornets on Tuesday night. Naturally, Drew goes and has a great game and I missed it. Anybody know of a link where I can download the game to replay it? Thanks in advance.

With the Lakers now holding the best record in the NBA at 14-3 and the season now 20% through, I thought it would be a good time to look at the early leaders for the NBA’s awards for best of the year. So with no further adieu, here are my early season picks:

1) MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s best player by a landslide, is the early leader for the MVP award. Not only has Kobe led his team to the best record in the league but he is doing it with some of his best play ever, averaging 28.8 ppg (2nd in the NBA to Carmello Anthony) on a career best 48.9% shooting percentage, along with 5.3 boards, 4.0 dimes, and a career best 2.3 steals per game. Most importantly, Kobe’s great leadership has inspired the Lakers to be a great team. If Kobe continues to play this well the rest of the year, he will win his 2nd regular season MVP.

2) DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Ron Artest, the NBA’s best defensive small forward, is the early leader for the DPOY award. While a healthy Andrew Bynum and a defensively improved Pau Gasol have given the Lakers a strong interior defensive presence, there is no doubt that the catalyst on defense for the Laker this year has been Ron Artest. Just as Kevin Garnett’s trade transformed the Celtics into a defensive power, Ron Artest’s signing has done the same for the Lakers, whose defense now ranks as the best in the league with a defensive efficiency rating of 100.5 points per game.

3) MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – Andrew Bynum, the NBA’s best young center, is the early leader for MIP, having raised his scoring average to 18.8 ppg from last year’s 14.8 and his career average of 9.5 while shooting a career-best 58% from the field, his rebounding average to 10.2 rpg from last year’s 8.0 and his career average of 6.5, along with 1.8 blocks per game and 0.5 steals per game. Most importantly, Andrew has increased his EFF rating or Efficiency to +23.40, 14th best in the NBA.
- - - - - - - -
Tom


On a slow news day and a Lakers off day how about a live game chat when Boston is playing against a good team (Cavs, Magic ..)? Imagine the dissection and trash talk.

You know what's funny AK, Kobe should have had a bad season the year he had the Colorado incident. He basically went through what Tiger is going through now, with an added arrest, rape charge and civil suit. So that should have been his down year where he either took time off or played terribly, but neither happened. In fact, those court/travel games were absolutely electrifying.


Only in Kobeland.


Wes

Laker Tom,


My GF has it too. She's been dry hack coughing for 5 weeks now. It's crazy. She just can't stop.


Wes

Wes Joe,

No question. Kobe's ability to remain dialed as while the Colorado incident came to an eventual resolution was absolutely amazing. I remember those games where he'd arrive from a court room shortly before tip off and display no ill effects whatsoever. That cannot possibly be easy under those circumstances. A very remarkable feat of concentration and focus.

AK

lakeraholic,

I'm watching the game too. If we handle our assignments, I think we beat
both of these teams. It doesn't look close.

LakerTom, at least in one area where we both got something in common : I too got the swine flu. (Its flu, not flue :-) ) Life has been difficult for the past 3-4 days and have not gone to work as well.

I am watching the Spurs - Celtics game. All that additions - Jefferson on O, McDyess on D, they all sound too hyped. Still they need Duncan day in and day out. Lakers need not worry about Spurs - they dont have what it takes to beat Lakers four times out of seven!!

LakerTom,

You can download the game here http://filelinkfind.com/megaupload/fd-454c

Here are the direct links for Hornets @ Lakers:

Pt1. http://tinyurl.com/yct4vd8

Pt2. http://tinyurl.com/yz9abls


Nick Cage,
- - - - - - - -
Thanks for the link. Going for it right now. I’m going to enjoy this one. :-)
- - - - - - - -
Kobefan in Cupertino,
- - - - - - - -
Hope you’re doing better, too. That FLU sure packs a wallop. I agree the Spurs are not a threat.
But then I don’t think there are any threats at all other than injuries. LOL.
- - - - - - - -
Tom


BK/AK,

I just read on yahoo sports about teams looking to make trades/deals and it stated that Mitch Kupchak is actively looking to shed more salary and that every reserve was available except for LO.

Do you guys have any inside information on who might be gone before or at the trading deadline? The article also mentioned how we discovered Shannon Brown by making a similar move last season by moving Radmanovic. Hopefully the Lakers will strike gold again. Go Lakers!!!

Nemaia....link my friend....link!


Wes

Nemaia-

There's really nothing new in that sentiment--- teams could have had guys like Sasha, Morrison, and likely Walton for a while. Farmar has been on the table for a while, too, if the deal is right. Any deal, though, that would move Brown and Farmar would have to return a guard, and I don't think there are enough good candidates that fit the payroll. At this point, given the improved lay from both and the reasonably small price tag, I don't think either would move. The exception would be if they found a guy in a trade who they saw as a long term solution at PG. Kirk Hinrich is tossed around a lot in that context, but I'll need to see it before I believe it.

I don't think the Lakers have a lot of flexibility, but on the other hand, i didn't think they'd be able to move Vladdy last year, either.

BK

The only way the Lakers dump salary via trade is if they package either Farmar or Shannon Brown with Luke or Sasha. No one is going to take Luke or Sasha's salary by itself. Actually, I think it's almost impossible for this team to shed any more money. I may be wrong, but I doubt it. We can add money if we want pretty easily by sending away Morrison and Farmar and the trade exception for a player with a long term deal like we did with the Kwame/Gasol trade. But shed money? No way. Not possible.


But really, this team is in great shape with its contracts. This year we can dump Morrison (to put it bluntly), and next year we get to dump Sasha. Those are our two worst players without size, and our two worst contracts (with the exception of Luke--and he comes off the books 2 years after Sasha). And that's ALL our bad contracts!


Toss on top of this that Derek's deal expires this year too, (I doubt he'll get 5 million a year. 2-3 sounds more likely) and we have a team void of really bad contracts.


Wes

who is this Tigers Wood guy, and why haven't I heard of him before? Does he play for the Clippers or something?

Watching the Rockets - Warriors game... ex-Lakers' players are top scorers in both teams - Ariza for Houston, and Vlad Rad for Golden State... wow :)

And the University of Oregon Football Ducks are going to the Rose Bowl. I expect all the PAC 10 supporters to get up about his, and at least one guy to root vigourously against the team from Ohio.

Here's the link to the article mentioned by Nemaia.

http://tinyurl.com/yccqmyo


wes.
- - - - - - - - -
Hope your girlfriend gets better. This is as sick as I have even been in my life. Regarding Morrison’s and Vujacic’s expiring contracts, I think the chances are very high that the Lakers intend to use them rather than trade them. Both these guys make $5M per year, which means we can save $10M at the end of this year and another $10M at the end of next year, replacing these guys with cheap draft picks or free agents. How else are we going to afford to give Kobe and Pau the raises they will both want? You have to be grateful for Dr. Buss and his dedication to wining, the best owner in pro sports.
- - - - - - - - -
Tom

Laker Tom...About 3 months ago i jumped on my bike at 5.30am to do some spinning....I felt like i had a cold but have riden before with a cold..About 40km into the ride i had to pull over and chuck...I then had to ride back home...

It took me 2 weeks to get over swine flu......

Phred--I hear the Nets might pick up Tiger Woods. Doesn't have much b-ball experience but they figure he can't be any worse than what they've already got.

The Spurs went smaller, younger, faster this year to pick up their offense, but at a cost to their defense. Ally-oops against the Spurs were unheard of in their Championship years. Previously they always start out slow but finish strong, but the nature of their team might have changed so we'll see. And unlike brainless Celtics fans, I give props to the enemy--they've been playing beneath their talent recently but look like they're back on track now.

Miami looks horrible. Lakers better avoid severe embarrassment by winning by at least 10 tomorrow.

THE SI TOP 50 BY POSITION…
- - - - - - - - -
One of the ways of isolating the poll to see if it holds water in my opinion is to compare players playing the same position. Per the poll, the Lakers have the #1 shooting guard, #4 and #9 small forwards, #4 power forward, and #6 center. I would still move Pau and Drew up a couple spots.

SHOOTING GUARDS
- - - - - - - - -
1. KOBE BRYANT, SG, LAKERS
3. Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
14. Brandon Roy, SG, Trail Blazers
22. Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs
24. Tracy McGrady, SG, Rockets
25. Joe Johnson, SG, Hawks
27. Ray Allen, SG, Celtics
30. Vince Carter, SG, Magic
34. Ben Gordon, SG, Pistons
39. Andre Iguodala, SG, 76ers
47. O.J. Mayo, SG, Grizzlies
49. Michael Redd, SG, Bucks

POINT GUARDS
- - - - - - - - -
6. Chris Paul, PG, Hornets
11. Steve Nash, PG, Suns
13. Tony Parker, PG, Spurs
12. Deron Williams, PG, Jazz
20. Chauncey Billups, PG, Nuggets
23. Jason Kidd, PG, Mavericks
26. Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
28. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards
32. Baron Davis, PG, Clippers
33. Devin Harris, PG, Nets
38. Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics

SMALL FORWARDS
- - - - - - - - -
2. LeBron James, SF, Cavaliers
9. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets
10. Paul Pierce, SF, Celtics
21. Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder
29. RON ARTEST, SF, LAKERS
31. Danny Granger, SF, Pacers
41. Rudy Gay, SF, Grizzlies
42. Hedo Turkoglu, SF, Raptors
43. LAMAR ODOM, SF, LAKERS
44. Shane Battier, SF, Rockets
46. Richard Jefferson, SF, Spurs

POWER FORWARDS
- - - - - - - - -
5. Tim Duncan, PF, Spurs
7. Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics
8. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
17. PAU GASOL, PF, LAKERS
18. Chris Bosh, PF, Raptors
19. Amare Stoudemire, PF, Suns
36. Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz
40. Josh Smith, PF, Hawks
45. Elton Brand, PF, 76ers
48. Charlie Villanueva, PF, Pistons

CENTERS
- - - - - - - - -
4. Dwight Howard, C, Magic
15. Yao Ming, C, Rockets
16. Shaquille O'Neal, C, Cavaliers
35. Al Horford, C, Hawks
37. Nene, C, Nuggets
50. ANDREW BYNUM, C, LAKERS

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Tom

The Lakers have 10% of the best talent in the league but as a team represent 3% of the teams in the league.

That spells AWESOME!!!!!!

This is a great year to be a Lakers fan. I'm glad I'm one.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

I just love Kobe Bryant. That's it.

Ditto Mr Wes. That is why Kobe is going to go down as the greatest in NBA History because to be able to ignore all the media talk and perform like that is a sign of a true focus & dedicated spirit. Now how many people could do that.

Is it just me, but it seems moreso lately whenever Kobe answers questions from the press mob, there's this disdain for the question, not overt, but subtle thing he's doing, i.e., "you don't know what you're talking about." his body language also indicates his annoyance with the questions. and it seems like all the reporters goal is to not ask a question that will annoy him, and yet in some way, he seems to say that whatever assumption the questioner had behind his ask -- is wrong. As in, "you have no idea what my world is." Are there any ex-jocks in the work-a-day, regular press mob? I wonder if they have an easier time with him.

Big Bomb, I noticed that too. Seems like not many can really engage Kobe in a conversation. But, the lakers did have a couple of days off and when that happens, there are only so many questions you can ask and he just wants to get back on the court.

No help from Kobe

If LeBron James(notes) is looking for advice on how to play with Shaquille O’Neal(notes), he’d be wasting his time asking Kobe Bryant.

“I clearly know, but I’m not saying nothing,” Bryant said. “That’s something that I had to do.”

So what did you do?

“I figured it out,” Bryant said. “That’s something that [James] needs to do. I won’t give him advice.”

Did James call you for advice on O’Neal?

“I won’t give him none. I’ve given him enough already.”

- Marc Spears Yahoo Sports


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