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Ankle injury keeps Kobe Bryant from adding to his NBA All-Star history

Kobe Bryant All-Star uniform

When deciding whether he would play in Sunday's NBA All-Star game, Kobe Bryant said he applied the same logic as when he decided against playing in the last three Lakers games.

"If it's an injury that can get better while I continue to play, I'll continue to play," Bryant told reporters Saturday in Dallas. "If it won't, then I can't."

He decided officially on Thursday that he wouldn't play Sunday in what would have been Bryant's 12th All-Star appearance, and the league replaced him with Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd. Nonetheless, Bryant still made the trip to Dallas, assisting Lakers guard Shannon Brown in the NBA Dunk Contest and adding his presence to the showcase event.

When asked by reporters Saturday in Dallas how it was going to feel to miss the All-Star game, Bryant succinctly replied: "Weird."

"Especially here," he said. "This is a historical All-Star game being played at Cowboys Stadium, so it’s a shame that I have to miss this one."

In fact, it's the only one he's missed since 1998, when he became the youngest player ever to start in an All-Star game. The only year he hadn't appeared in an All-Star game in his 13 seasons was his rookie year, the 1996-97 season. That's when he won the slam dunk competition with a between-the-legs dunk. Don't forget to disregard 1999 since there was no All-Star game because of the NBA lockout.

Lakers fans can at least take solace in the fact that forward Pau Gasol will be there to represent the team. But the game may lose some of its luster among Lakers fans without Bryant in the lineup. That's because he's provided many memories in the last 11 All-Star games, including two MVPs, one co-MVP and leading the West in scoring five times. This is a good time to look back at those games and see what Bryant contributed to them (after the jump).

1998 NBA All-Star game

Most of the focus rightfully centered on Michael Jordan's third All-Star MVP award in the East's 135-114 victory and whether this would ultimately be his last All-Star appearance. Within that story line, it was also apparent that a changing of the guard was taking place.

In just his second year in the NBA, Bryant became the youngest player, at 19, to be voted in as a starter for the NBA All-Star game. Though he didn't even start for his own team, Bryant proved he was worthy of the honor. He led the West with 18 points, six rebounds and two steals despite missing the entire fourth quarter.

"Can I sum it up?" Bryant rhetorically asked reporters. "No. No. If I could, I would. I don't know how I'm feeling right now. I'm a little sad because it's over."

2000 NBA All-Star game

These were the days when Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal enjoyed playing with each other. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Bryant told reporters his favorite moment of the 2000 All-Star game was when Shaq performed a fast-break 360-degree dunk in the West's 137-126 victory over the East. It was part of a big day for Shaq, who collected 22 points and nine rebounds en route to a co-MVP award with San Antonio's Tim Duncan (24 points, 14 rebounds).

Though the West mostly centered on its frontline, Bryant still managed 15 points, had a flying alley-oop dunk and performed a sky hook, after which he pointed to Magic Johnson in the stands. Bryant, who played 28 minutes, told Coach Phil Jackson he should have reduced his playing time, thinking it would be better if Oakland products Jason Kidd and Gary Payton played before the hometown crowd.

"He came to me and he actually said, 'You know, Gary's from here, Jason's from here and they played together when they were kids,' " Jackson told reporters. " 'And it'll probably be fun for the kids, I'd be willing to sit out early if you want to take me out early.' "

2001 NBA All-Star game

This usually doesn't happen: Someone else other than Bryant taking the last-second shot. Yet, despite leading the West with 19 points and going toe to toe with Philadelphia's Allen Iverson, Bryant found Duncan open for the last shot. But Duncan's attempt was blocked by Toronto's Vince Carter and the East came away with a 111-110 victory over the West.

It appeared the last shot would go to Bryant, given his reputation for late-game heroics and for making three consecutive baskets in the game. But Bryant said afterward the last play just came down to what was happening on the court.

"I was just reading the defense," said Bryant, who compiled a team-high seven assists. "I had an opportunity for a shot, but Tim had a better look ... so I gave the ball up to him."

2002 NBA All-Star game

Philadelphia didn't exactly show brotherly love to Bryant, who attended Lower Merion High School just outside the area. The city was still bitter from the Lakers having defeated the 76ers in five games in the 2001 NBA Finals.

Despite the fans' frequent boos and jabs that Bryant was a ball-hog, Mamba didn't lose focus. He put together 31 points, including 12 in the first quarter in the West's 135-120 victory over the East, a performance that ranked second among Lakers who participated in the All-Star game. He trailed only Elgin Baylor, who scored 32 points in the 1962 NBA All-Star game. It also earned Bryant his first All-Star MVP award.

He admitted afterward that the constant heckling disturbed him. 

"I was pretty upset, pretty hurt," Bryant told reporters. "My first game here in the NBA, my rookie year, they booed me too. And that really hurt, because it was like my homecoming. That was very, very hurtful."

The booing continued even during the MVP ceremony, leading West Coach Don Nelson to tell Bryant:  "Don't take it personal. They wish they had you."

Bryant wasn't so sure. But now he had something to keep that never-ending drive ignited.

"I'll use it as motivation," Bryant told reporters. "I'm the type of person where if something occurs in my life that's hurtful, I'm only going to let it hurt me for so long. I'm going to turn it around and use it."

2003 NBA All-Star game

With the West trailing by two with one second remaining, Bryant was put in the lineup to clinch two free throws to force overtime.

Bryant, who wore retro Air Jordans in tribute to Michael Jordan's last All-Star game, later said he was torn. Still, he tied the game with two free throws, and the West eventually prevailed in a 155-145 double-overtime victory.

 "Part of me felt like I had a job to do because I'm in the situation I was in and I needed to make those free throws," Bryant told reporters after scoring 22 points on eight-of-17 shooting, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists. "But the other part me of was like -- I didn't want to do it, to be honest with you."

2004 NBA All-Star game

The game certainly didn't lack for story lines. All week, reports emerged detailing problems with Bryant and Jackson, Bryant and the Lakers and Bryant and Shaq. Then, Bryant arrived 30 minutes late to Staples Center and missed the team picture, apparently because of L.A. traffic.

The West's 136-132 win over the East featured Shaq (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Bryant (20 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals) coexisting despite any of the aforementioned problems earlier in the week. Their numbers were similar, but they weren't competing with each other for the MVP award, with Bryant looking for teammates late in the game. Shaq ultimately won that honor, and Bryant complimented O'Neal afterward.

"He's not a typical big man," Bryant told reporters. "He can handle the ball, do a lot of creative things on the perimeter. He had an incredible game today, running the floor, getting second-chance opportunities, taking pictures of himself. It was showtime, man."

2005 NBA All-Star game

This was the first meeting between Bryant and O'Neal on opposing All-Star teams, and it was obvious the two hadn't patched up their relationship after the Lakers shipped O'Neal to Miami.

The two ignored each other during pre-game handshakes at center court. They slipped off center stage following the East's 125-115 victory over the West. And the reception from the Denver crowd surely made it clear whose side they they were on. As O'Neal was greeted with cheers, he placed his hand on his chest and simulated a beating heart. Bryant, 125 miles from Eagle, Colo., where he was charged with sexual assault in July 2003, was booed loudly. The charges against Bryant were dropped the previous September.

The Kobe-Shaq storyline was something Bryant didn't want to feed after the game.

"I'm really not going to make this weekend about myself and Shaquille," Bryant told reporters after scoring 16 points, the second most for the West. "I obviously respect Shaquille tremendously for what he can do on the basketball floor and vice versa. Even when we played together, we weren't the best of buddies, but we won three titles, so I think everybody has to just kind of leave that in the past and move on."

2006 NBA All-Star game

Bryant's 20-foot jumper tied the game with 32 seconds remaining, but, with 16 seconds left, the East's Dwyane Wade responded, followed by LeBron James' block on Tracy McGrady. It secured the East a 122-120 victory over the West and an All-Star MVP for James (29 points), who became the youngest All-Star to collect the award.

"I got a piece of his arm and the ball, which made it short," James told reporters, essentially admitting he fouled McGrady. "Great defensive play, I guess."

Though most of the post-game chatter centered on James being the future of the NBA, Bryant finished a quiet game of eight points on only four-of-11 shooting.

2007 NBA All-Star game

Bryant said his second All-Star MVP felt a lot better than the first one, and it's not just because the West's 153-132 victory over the East happened in Las Vegas.

This time, after scoring 31 points (matching his All-Star career high in 2002), shooting 13 of 24, dishing out six steals and grabbing six steals, Bryant was greeted with cheers as Commissioner David Stern presented him the MVP trophy. That was much different from when he won his first MVP, in 2002 in Philadelphia. Bryant, graduate of a nearby high school, was not a favorite of the city. (And it didn't help matters that the Lakers had beat the 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals.)

"You take the greatest show in the world [the NBA], you put it in the entertainment capital of the world and you multiply a normal All-Star game by 10," Bryant told reporters regarding Vegas. "It's really special here. A lot of energy and a lot of excitement. ... You could feel it. Hopefully, it will be here again, just because we had so much fun here."

2008 NBA All-Star game

The only positive that came out of the East's 134-128 victory over the West is that Bryant escaped without any injuries.

Though Bryant had a torn ligament in his right pinkie finger, NBA officials insisted that he play in the game, though Vice President Stu Jackson reportedly told West Coach Byron Scott that he could limit Bryant's playing time.

Bryant played only two minutes and 52 seconds, and thankfully, Scott observed, players didn't target Bryant.

"In our day, they would have done it every game until he couldn't probably play, especially if you have an injury like Kobe has, where you have to wear some type of protection," Scott told reporters. "Guys would take shots at that all the time. But it's a different league now. I don't think it's as physical or as rough, which is probably a good thing as well."

2009 NBA All-Star game

The feud had ended three years before this moment, but the symbolic images definitely served their purpose. Bryant and O'Neal played alongside each other and were coached by none other than Jackson. They also shared the co-MVP award, with Bryant scoring 27 points and Shaq adding 17 in the West's 146-119 victory over the East. The two even hugged each other.

The post-game interview featured Shaq and Mamba sitting side by side, with O'Neal calling Bryant "the best player in the league" and Bryant giving Shaq's pre-game dance an "A-plus." Beyond that, O'Neal waxed nostalgic and Bryant remained cordial.

"It felt like old times." O'Neal told reporters. "I miss those times. He was really looking for me, especially when we went to a pick-and-roll and Rashard Lewis was on me. He was really looking for me."

"We're not going to go watch 'Steel Magnolias,' or something like that, you know what I'm saying?" Bryant replied. "Crying, all that stuff. We had a good time. That's all."

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Though Kobe Bryant was voted in as a Western Conference All-Star, he decided to miss what would have been his 12th appearance because of a sprained left ankle. Credit: Andy Bernstein / NBAE

 
Comments () | Archives (29)

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aztronut,

To answer your query in the previous thread, I quite honestly wasn't aware of the fact that Cleamons played as a Laker. I was referring to his coaching stint alonside Phil Jackson. In the period after Jackson left the Bulls and before he came to the Lakers, Cleamons - who was out of work as a member of Jackson's trusted circle - took over the 'Trotters. I happened to catch a broadcast of one of their games (probably in Europe) a couple of years after the event, when both Cleamons was assistant coaching the Lakers and George had been picked up by the Lakers. Having seen the two of them together, I realized (or simply assumed) that Cleamons had scouted George as a member of his show team.

As I remember, George didn't do much in the game, but it clearly was the same dude who ended up in the Lakers. Or at least a guy called "George" (last name) who looked a helluva lot like him. (Does Deaven have a twin brother).

Hey, I've just checked it out. Here it is: http://hoopshype.com/players/devean_george.htm

19 Devean George Golden State Warriors
Position: SF
Born: 8/29/77
Height: 6-8 / 2,03
Weight: 225 lbs. / 102,1 kg.
College: Augsburg '99 A good role player... Plays good defense and is a decent rebounder for his position... His outside shot lacks consistency... Mediocre ballhandling skills.
Attended the Benilde-St. Margaret HS in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Played college ball at Augsburg College until 1999.
Played with the Harlem Globetrotters before the 1999 NBA Draft.
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as 23rd overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. Played with the Lakers till 2005-06.
Signed with the Dallas Mavericks in August 2006.
Traded to the Toronto Raptors in July 2009. Traded to the Golden State Warriors later that month.
Named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference MVP in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Named to the All-Tournament team at the Portsmouth Invitational in 1999.
Won the the NBA title in 1999-00, 2000-01 and 2001-02 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nice write up, Mark.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K - Thanks for the love man.

MM

Jon K

Ya think Stern should resist the ratings disaster, marketing forces and racial slurs of the populous, and use the NBA to slay the G force? It does stink from the top, but he resisted gangsta marketing. He finally dealt with heavy backlash, and annually declining ratings which reached a fevered pitch when he put on a country NBA all star halftime act.

In a better world, if Gatorade were to put on a campaign that was suggestive of gangstas, there would be public (other than you) outcry. Where's the public? The NBA displays a sanitized version of it but the culture lazily embraces what they don't have the stamina to change. As a talented wordsmith, you can appreciate the damage ebonics does. If you talk it, you better be a famous rapper cause ya ain't gon' get no mfin bank loan talkin' dat shizzle.

And speakin' of shizzle, when did Snoop become mainstream? A while back he did a spot with Lee Iaccoca for god's sake. David Stern wasn't in that meeting.
It's comforting to know there's dudes like you on the front lines. Battling. I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore... good film to re-watch.

Loved this article, I had flashbacks of my younger days while reading this and realized how much my love for the Lakers had evolved the same way Kobe grew up in front of our eyes, as a person and as a basketball player.

And about Shannon's disappointed slam dunk night, I still love the guy just because he seems so grounded, god fearing, and a family man. I really thought that he was thinking too much about his dunks instead of just going at it w/o fear. The big stage had to do something w/that. I read that he was gonna dunk on Kobe and MBenga if he indeed advanced onto the final round. Mannnn that woulda been awesome!

Finally, Happy Valentine's Day everyone. The real meaning of Valentine's Day has somewhat been lost because of commercialism. Today shouldn't just be celebrated with your significant others but should also be with God, best friends and family. So in that case, blogfam happy love love love all day and everyday.

A very cute read: http://khloekardashian.celebuzz.com/2010/02/khloe-kardashian-lamar-odom-valentines-day.php#more


Tough for the NBA to compete against the Olympics. Last night set the bar pretty low, so the game won't have far to go to get over it. Still, would rather watch ice dancing and wait for Tuesday.

Not really, but almost.

Tsphere,

Thank you for clarifying that. I also scoured around the intertubes myself looking for confirmation that these two were once members of the 'Trotters, but I couldn't find anything.

That's amazing that George played with them prior to the draft, and obviously after finishing his college career at Augsburg. I stand corrected on that one, and I'm glad that I could add to your knowledge base on Cleamons. Jimmy was a very promising rookie and I never really understood why the Lakers traded him after that first championship season he had with them.

Thanks again for the fascinating comment.

This Amare to Cleveland rumor is so disturbing to me that I litterally had to go into the belly of the beast to find out what's going on , and to see if my presence could somehow stir up the antibodies and white blood cells to attack this ridiculous reasoning that says Amare to Cleveland for JJ Hickson is a good trade.


This is MADNESS.


I wanted to know, what the heck are Suns fans thinkig? Here's the answer from the very heart of the enemie's blog:


"Amare Stoudemire to Cleveland makes no sense
Posted by Michael Schwartz on February 13th, 10:20 am


I understand Yahoo! Sports reported that the Cavs have emerged as “serious bidders” and that The Plain Dealer reported that the Suns and Cavs have engaged in “advancing talks” around Amare Stoudemire.


But I just don’t see it. The best the Cavs can offer is J.J. Hickson, a late first-rounder and cap relief. Hickson is a nice athlete and all, but the guy is averaging 7.4 and 4.4. He is young enough that he may yet turn into a real player some day, but at this point in time he’s not the kind of guy who can headline an Amare Stoudemire trade.


Yahoo! reports that the Heat have made everyone available but Dwyane Wade, but those offers (headlined by Beasley) don’t attract the Suns while something with Cleveland does. Hello! What am I missing here? That makes no sense.


Phoenix Stan (oops, I mean Seth Pollack) discussed the possibility of J-Rich being included with Wally Szczerbiak essentially signing a fake contract to make the numbers work, but I don’t really see that working for either team.


The Cavs would have way too many players unwilling to sacrifice time and play defense, and I don’t see why Cleveland would sacrifice it’s current championship chemistry for a whole is less than the sum of its parts kind of team. That’s not to mention what such a deal could do to Cleveland’s 2010 cap.


The Suns would be set up nicely to make a splash in the Summer of 2010, but they would be trading a crack at the playoffs this season in the crapshoot (plus the Lakers) that is the Western Conference. I just don’t think the Suns will or should do that with a 36-year-old Steve Nash playing at an MVP level for potentially the last time in his career.


ESPN reported today the Suns are seeking “legitimate talent” for STAT, including a young player and a first-rounder, adding that “several” other teams have just as good a chance of landing Amare as Cleveland does. That leads me to believe yesterday’s reports were a bit blown out of proportion.


The way I see it, the Cavs just don’t have the pieces to match up with the Suns, as they can get a better young player and pick than Hickson and the Cavs’ selection and just as much cap relief elsewhere. I don’t know why Kerr is even talking to his old buddy Danny Ferry unless there’s a possibility of a three-team deal that lands Amare in Cleveland and makes some sense for the Suns.


I do understand that any Amare deal will make the Suns worse in the interim. I can live with that so long as the prospect they’re receiving is better than J.J. Hickson.


COMMENTS:
16 responses so far:


If the Suns dump Amar’e for Hickson and scraps, Kerr needs to quit because the Suns would be the new Clippers. Perennial losers who don’t want to pay to win. Hickson is a decent young role player on a great team. Much like other guys who play with superstars, he’s overrated. He’s an energy big growing into his game, but not a player you trade an All Star for. He doesn’t provide the scoring punch that Amar’e does and his game is too similar to Lopez to think that is our frontline of the future. The cap space argument makes no sense because who is going to sign with Phoenix if they’ve dismantled a great team because they didn’t want to pay anyone. The Suns would be shopping for a player who can score on the block and in the PNR with Nash- basically what they just gave up. And if they do this, hopefully they trade Nash to a contender in the offseason.
16 Ravi // Today at 11:23 am (21 seconds ago)

I guess you haven’t been watching JJ develop lately. I am happy you hold that opinion, however, as I’m in Cleveland and hoping we don’t make this move. I’d rather have JJ than a no-defense, no-chemistry Amare.
2 Chris // Yesterday at 11:48 am


You should try and watch JJ sometime. He will not ever be a franchise player, but STAT is not a franchise player also. What you do get in JJ is a Hyper athletic PF who will thrive in your no defense run and gun offence. You keep up that same offence in the future he will get 21+ per game easy.


Steve Kerr is just a moron.
4 Alec // Yesterday at 2:32 pm


I think the Cavs might be feeding Hickson right now to try and bump his worth in a trade. JJ monthly stats are pretty consistent at 7-9 points per game until FEB. It could be a trick
6 Kevin // Yesterday at 4:07 pm


This trade seems AWFUL for the Suns!!!!!!! Anyone replying positively about this is a Cavs fan!!!! KEEP AMARE!!!!
7 ll // Yesterday at 4:52 pm


Hahahaha…. Yeah it could be a trick. Maybe this is like WWF.
8 Michael Schwartz // Yesterday at 5:02 pm


@Dan Great point there. Let’s just hope Kerr is smart enough not to fall for it! (Gulp!)
9 Zane // Yesterday at 7:25 pm


KEEP AMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hickson AND A CRAPPY DRAFT PICK FOR AMARE IS RETARDED! IF KERR DOES THIS, HE IS EVEN MORE OF A F*CKING IDIOT THAN I THOUGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10 NJ // Yesterday at 11:14 pm


Nice choice of words Zane, really brilliant how you managed to make any sane person disregard your comments. Seriously though, the Suns need more than this unbelieveably bad trade could give them for Amare. The Beasley trade is probly the best way to go, as Beasley has more of a ceiling that Amare, is about as good as him on defense currently, and costs less enough that the Suns could get an excellent midlevel player in the 2010 sweepstakes.
11 Ace // Today at 12:40 am (10 hours ago)


Am thinking they should try the trade with the warriors. Stephen Curry is out of Phoenix’s grasp now. Also, maggette will be a good forward that can score 20 points nightly.
12 adam // Today at 2:48 am (8 hours ago)


we need to have a reason to have lebron stay in cleveland. jj hickson isnt enough to keep him in town. amare is a big enough name that lebron will stick around and try to win another championship after he wins this years.
13 adam // Today at 2:49 am (8 hours ago)


it makes perfect sense….give your superstar what he wants
14 Ryan // Today at 10:49 am (34 minutes ago)


If this trade goes down as Amare for JJ and Z, it will be the last straw for Kerr. He needs to be fired. If the whole “Wally for Richardson” part is included (which, btw, I don’t think will be included), I’m not 100% opposed to it seeing that we will be able to have lots and lots of cap space this summer.


But again, it seems like it will just be Amare for JJ and Z. And if that happens, how much more will Suns fans be willing to put up with?
15 Hersey // Today at 11:22 am (1 minute ago)


It makes sense because Sarver loves his dollar dollar bills. That’s all there is to it unfortunately."


Wes

VMan,

I understand your point, but I'm literally on the front lines here. It's horrible watching good people embrace a lifestyle that is utterly distructive. It's cancerific.

There is nothing cool about being a thug.

Period.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

In nothing related to the Lakers I just want to express the small amount of happiness I feel to see Caron Butler removed from the exile that is the Washington Wizards. I don't like to se ex-Lakers get mired on perennial duds, so it's nice to see him move to a true contender in Dallas. Who most people are sleeping on but seem more built for the playoffs, especially with a more solid option with Butler over Howard.

Good luck Caron, I look forward to a Lakers/Mavs show down, should it materialize.

ladyJem24,

That piece by Khloe on Lamar is really nice.

It sounds like she's genuinely in love and love is a wonderful thing.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Marky Mark,

Any possibility of you doing one of your incredibly prolific threads about the long, exotic, and interesting romantic history of the Lakers (players) in the sexiest city in the world?

Just askin'.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Wow. Lamar is lucky he has a woman that loves those qualities in him. She didn't mention the paycheck. Pretty nice.


Wes

Wesjoenixon,

"Yahoo! reports that the Heat have made everyone available but Dwyane Wade, but those offers (headlined by Beasley) don’t attract the Suns while something with Cleveland does. Hello! What am I missing here? That makes no sense."

Remember when we made the Kwame-Pau trade? What happened?

The Suns traded for Shaq and imploded.

They've got to be still angry about that, even through it's their part.

Right now, they're probably thinking, "IF WE'RE GOING DOWN, WE'RE TAKING THE LAKERS WITH US!!!!!"

As far as I can tell, this would only be a trade made to spite the Lakers. Otherwise it makes no sense.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Here's what we do. Go to the Suns blog and act like angry Suns fans who will not tolorate trading away a franchise player for scrapps. I've already done it, and if enough of us do, we'll put this madness back in the can where it deserves to be:


http://valleyofthesuns.com/2010/02/13/amare-stoudemire-to-cleveland-makes-no-sense/comment-page-1/#comment-33163


Wes

quick question...

When a player sits out an all-star game due to injury or any other reason and gets replaced by another player, does the player that sat out lose that career stat, as in this would be Kobe's 12th all star, but since he sat out would it stay at 11 in the record books? or does it not matter since he got selected anyway.

WHAT ALL STAR GAME?
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WES… I don’t like the idea of Amare going to the Cavs either, especially if they allow Z to just get waived and return to the Cavs. Stern needs to end that unethical practice. I would not put the deal in the same class as the Pau Gasol deal because no way is Amare as valuable a piece as Pau but when you consider the price that the Cavs would be paying, then the deals are comparable. Amare would be a big improvement for the Cavs.
-
The other big rumor is the trade of Josh Howard to the Wizards for Antoine Jamison. Frankly, I would prefer Dallas to keep Howard as Jamison would be a definite improvement. In reality, I thought the really scary prospect was the Cavs trading with the Wizards and getting Jamison, who would be a much better fit than Amare, whom Shaq could not get along with in Phoenix. The Lakers recent 3-game display without Kobe and Drew has put fear in the hearts of NBA general managers. Bottom line, everybody is still chasing the Lakers.
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JON… Great post about Stern and the “Gansta” marketing of the NBA. There but for fortune go you or I. I’ve always believed that if I had been born and raised in the ghetto that I would have ended up being some form of drug dealer rather than an entrepreneur. Fortunately for me, I had a family that while not wealthy was determined that their son would be the first college graduate in the family. Just a different hustle.
-
That was a fascinating story about the black tar business created by entrepreneurs from one small area of Mexico. Focus on selling to white middle-class customers where you actually deliver drugs to your customers with an emphasis on affordable prices and superior customer service, even including follow up calls to confirm the quality of service. Now if we could only get our wireless carriers to adopt the same model…
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JON & WES… Loved your bathroom stories. I agree with you that bathroom behavior is hard to understand. I spent two years working nights as a janitor while I got a second degree at UC Riverside. Disregarding how humiliatingly students treat janitors, the absolute worst part of my job was cleaning the women’s bathrooms. That was my first inkling that women could be even bigger slobs and tools than men. I always wondered whom those women married and what their home bathrooms were like. A scary revelation for a young man.
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I also spent many years traveling in Asia, often in manufacturing areas far from the better tourist hotels in China, Korea, and Taiwan, and it takes a completely different attitude toward relieving yourself when all you have is 6-inch diameter hole in the floor. Believe me, no bathro0m in Akron or any other American city could give you the willies the way the bathrooms in Asia can. It’s worse than being in line after a homeless person in order to use one of the advertising-supported free French toilets in downtown San Francisco.
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JAMIE… I, too, was glad to see Caron get free of the disaster known as the Baltimore Bullets, oops the Washington Wizards. But while I always liked Caron, I never really agreed with the nostalgic fans who always seemed to pine for him. Fans need to remember that we get the ticket to Pau Gasol (Kwame “No Hands” Brown) in that trade and that time has shown that Caron Butler was not a piece of the championship puzzle.
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It’s like the fans who still suggest every so often that we bring back Kwame Brown or Javaris Crittenden, as if they were great players when they were there. Just because somebody once wore purple and gold for a season or two is not alone enough reason to want to bring them back. There was a reason why we let Ronny Turiaf go. Other than Derek Fisher, I cannot think of a single former-Lakers player I would want back.
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Tom

Word on street is that other teams got word of the Amare for Hickson deal and sweetened their own offers for Amare. Lets hope this is true.


Wes

This will make the Luke/Sasha bashers happy. From Yahoo:


The Lakers have tried to move Luke Walton(notes) and Sasha Vujacic(notes) to shed some salary before Thursday’s trade deadline. One league source the Lakers have even had discussions with one of their Pacific Division rivals: the Blazers. The Blazers, the source said, seem more focused on landing a big man.


Wes

Ladyjem24,

"4. I love how Lamar talks to me in his sleep. It's one of my favorite things!!!"

Khloe assumes Lamar is talking to her in his sleep. LO is really calling out for "sweets" NOT "sweetie". LOL

LakerTom,

"I spent two years working nights as a janitor while I got a second degree at UC Riverside"

That's quite a coincidence, 'cause I spent a couple years as a janitor at the CSULB library while I was going to school there. Of course, my responsibilities were for the fifth floor archives and it was usually quite as a tomb up there, so I didn't have many problems with inappropriate bathroom behavior. It was kinda akin to the job they give the scholarship student-athletes in the movies. You know, being responsible for turning the automatic sprinkler system on and off.

LakerTom,

"I also spent many years traveling in Asia, often in manufacturing areas far from the better tourist hotels in China, Korea, and Taiwan, and it takes a completely different attitude toward relieving yourself when all you have is 6-inch diameter hole in the floor. Believe me, no bathro0m in Akron or any other American city could give you the willies the way the bathrooms in Asia can."

We just traveled to China last summer for the Solar Eclipse and I was amazed to see the facilities that they consider public restrooms. Of course, they do have public restrooms all over, unlike the US and Europe, but apparently that's because most people there don't have bathrooms in their houses, believe it or not. Still the result is that the neighborhood streets tend to smell like urine and worse, to be kind.

Can you image waking up in the middle of the night and having to walk down the block to relieve yourself? I'm sure that they have chamber-pots and stuff, but the whole concept really blew my mind. It's good to get out and see how the rest of the world lives from time to time. I hate to travel but I love to go to new and different places.

AZ,
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LOL. Fellow janitors unite. Unfortunately, my gig was a long way from that given any star athlete. I worked the grave yard shift (11p-7a) and then went to school during the day. And believe me, the campus was a complete graveyard, nothing but you, your cart and portable radio (pre iPOD days), and the older janitors’ stories about hot willing young female professors in the buildings you never got to clean. The only good thing about the job is it made you damn sure that you wanted to graduate so you could get a better job than that.
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Tom

LakerTom,

"...the older janitors’ stories about hot willing young female professors in the buildings you never got to clean."

Were those the ones in Penthouse Forum? Wow, I should have read them more closely back then because I never even realized they were coming out of UCR, so to speak. Just joking of course! Don't worry, I wouldn't believe a word of those janitor fantasies anyway...

"The only good thing about the job is it made you damn sure that you wanted to graduate so you could get a better job than that."

Amen to that bro! I think I experienced just about every dirty job in the book while I was putting myself through school. From dishwasher, to ditchdigger, to stock boy, to bouncer, to parking lot attendant, to 7-11 and auto parts clerk, to tutor, to substitute teacher, to the aforementioned janitorial engineering, and finally...the most disrespected job of them all, graduate teaching assistant!

It's all good now, that stuffs just water under the bridge and most of it's probably my own damn fault for spending thirteen years in college, but where else can you learn new things and interact with so many beautiful women every day!

BTW, I responded to your "political persuasion" comment back in the commercial ideas for LO post. I tried to leave it back there to make it as discrete as possible, since that's probably a hornet's nest that we don't want to stir up around here right now.

AZTRONUT… LOL. I spent 8 years in school and loved every minute of it. Had most of those jobs that you listed, too. Despite the great stories, I never saw an attractive sexy teacher in alone in the office late at night on any of my janitorial ours. I did, however, work for several months as a Carnation Milk Man in La Jolla back in the home delivery days when the milk man had a key to the back door and an inventory of milk and ice cream to restock every few days and can attest that many of the stories I heard about milk men were true.
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Tom

LakerTom,

"I did, however, work for several months as a Carnation Milk Man in La Jolla back in the home delivery days when the milk man had a key to the back door and an inventory of milk and ice cream to restock every few days and can attest that many of the stories I heard about milk men were true."

Stories like this one maybe...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9YL0yHohts

it's one of my all time favorites.

I think Koby Bryant is the best basketball player of all time. He needs to slow down on his jumps and slam dunks with his injuries.

kobe is on steriods someone said that tome should i believe?

hi


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