Kobe Bryant rated NBA's fifth-best player by Sports Illustrated
--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe ranks Kobe Bryant as the league's fifth-best player. LeBron James was No. 1, followed by Dwight howard, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki.
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan talks to Lakers forward Luke Walton about becoming an assistant coach with the Memphis Tigers until the NBA lockout ends.
--Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick talks to one agent who says the owners' proposal for a new collective bargaining would have a player such as Lakers forward Lamar Odom see his salary drop from $8.9 million to $2.6 million next season.
--Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico argues a lost NBA season would be costly for veterans, such as Bryant.
--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding ranks Bryant as the league's best player who's at least 30 years old.
--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer wonders if it's a legitimate option for Bryant to play in China, even if it involves nothing more than appearing in warmup drills.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky and Ramona Shelburne as well as 710 ESPN's Mark Willard discuss how a new labor deal might affect the Lakers' finances.
--Fox Sports West's Michael Martinez feels for Bryant having a lack of privacy at church.
--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks with Coach Mike Brown about his assistant coaches.
Tweet of the Day: "2014 NBA Finals: Dwight Howard's Lakers defeat Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls in seven games ... At 35, Kobe Bryant announces his retirement after besting Michael Jordan with 7 rings ... Critics will go on to claim Kobe wouldn't have won the last two rings if not for Dwight Howard." -- thechrispalmer (ESPN The Magazine's Chris Palmer)
Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "An outstanding gesture from both Kobe and Luke Walton. The NBA "Lockout" is really hurting the average, everyday worker, more so than the owners and players. I am sure that there are other players helping out as well. And I commend them as well.." --- Edward W Jones III
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is considered the league's fifth-best player, according to Sports Illustrated, while Miami Heat forward LeBron James is ranked the league's best. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times