SH Blog: Kobe Bryant predicted the arrival of Dwight Howard to L.A. a month in advance

Last week, Chris Bosh somewhat controversially admitted that the Los Angeles Lakers are the best team in the league on paper. Turns out, he wasn’t the only one that would willingly admit to that notion. See what other noteworthy player agreed with Bosh, along with Kobe Bryant’s Dwight Howard prediction and more in Monday’s news. Be sure to also check out Chris Bernucca’s preseason list of Eastern Conference Playoff Teams:

  • Apparently, Kobe Bryant knew all along that Dwight Howard would end up with the Lakers, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: “Howard had several suitors at that point, but Bryant’s prediction still stayed in the back of Kevin Durant’s mind. Bryant’s words eventually became reality as Howard was dealt to the Lakers from the Orlando Magic in a four-team blockbuster trade on Aug. 10. “Kobe called that a month before it happened,” Durant told Yahoo! Sports while promoting his new movie “Thunderstruck.” “I didn’t believe him. He was just like, ‘We are going to have Dwight. We are going to have Steve Nash.’ He just talks a lot of trash, jokes and laughs. But he said it. I don’t think anyone paid attention to it but me and him. He said it and it happened. And they got better, a lot better.”
  • In the same article, Kevin Durant echoed Chris Bosh’ sentiments in saying that the Lakers have the best team on paper: “With his focus on an Olympic gold medal at the time of that trade, Durant initially declined to discuss how the Lakers’ moves could affect the Thunder’s hopes of returning to the NBA Finals next season. But now that he’s back home with a gold medal in hand, Durant says the “confident” Thunder are looking forward to the challenge posed by the new-look Lakers next season. “People outside, fans, media, of course they are going to say [the Lakers are the favorites] because on paper they have the best lineup in the league. But you still got to play the games. We respect everybody. We are going to go through the league respecting everybody as well. “We already view ourselves as an elite team, but we have to prove it again. Last year is over with.”
  • While the Olympics got all the attention over the summer, The FIBA world 3-on-3 also quietly took place. To bring some attention, they decided to put on a show, from Andrew Greif of Dime Magazine: “The FIBA world 3-on-3 championships didn’t get a lot of publicity in its inaugural run. The residual effect of the Olympic spotlight has helped pull back the shadow a little bit this year on the biennial world championships, held in Athens, Greece. Actually, it was literally in the shadow of an Olympic legacy: it was played outside the first building, the Zappeion, built for the modern Olympics back in 1874. So what do you do to bring more attention to yourself if you’re in the first 3-on-3 world tournament? Wait till it gets dark, then turn the spotlight on the dunk contest.”
  • David Kindred of Sports on Earth went into detail about the “most famous game in basketball history” involving Doug Collins: “Eight seconds to play, the United States a point down to the Soviet Union. Collins had stolen the ball near his own free-throw line. He had a step on the only defender in his peripheral vision. Laying out, he knew he could be airborne to the rim before the Soviet player arrived. He also knew he would get hammered. The Soviet could not allow a layup. He hurled himself against Collins, who went down hard, his head sliding under the goal support. Three seconds to play now, and Collins was disoriented. He had been unconscious for maybe 10 seconds. A mouse popped up under his left eye. He manipulated his left wrist to see if the ache meant anything bad. As he gathered his senses, Collins heard a U.S. coach ask who ought to get off the bench to shoot the free throws. The next voice was the rasp of Henry Iba, the head coach, the legend whose teams had won the previous two Olympics. “If Doug can walk,” Iba said, “he’s shooting.”
  • Carmelo Anthony discussed how much of a different player he becomes after each Olympics experience, from Tolulope Oladele of Buckets over Broadway: “Every time I come back and play USA basketball, my mindset is a lot different,” Anthony said. “The team-oriented atmosphere I bring back to my team, the focus I have, my conditioning, and carrying that into the regular season, it’s like I’m getting an early start. Look at what happened the year after we won the gold medal. In 2009 I had one of my best seasons with Denver and we went to the Western Conference finals. My body felt great, my mind felt great – and that’s something I keep in the back of my mind coming out of USA Basketball.”
  • Dirk Nowitzki announced on twitter that he is definitely in for two more seasons, and go from there, from Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News: “Dirk Nowitzki staged an impromptu Q&A on Twitter on Sunday and told fans he would like to play at least two more seasons, and that he bleeds Mavericks blue. The 34-year-old Mavericks forward responded to one question asking how many more years he wanted to play with: “2 for sure and then see how I feel.” Nowitzki has two years remaining on the four-year, $80 million deal he signed in 2010. When asked why he doesn’t just jump to a “Super Team” and try to win a championship elsewhere, Nowitzki replied: “I bleed blue.” Those are positive signs for Mavericks fans after a tough summer of pursuing Deron Williams and losing out on the Brooklyn point guard. When asked if he feels the team the Mavericks have put together can win a championship this season, Nowitzki replied: “I always feel that way.”
  • Pau Gasol explained how the team has to be selfless and come together in order to be great, but that he is still uncertain of what his role will be, from Mark Medina of Los Angeles Times: ““It’s going to be playing together and understanding some nights will go more toward one player, attacking matchups and reading the game,” Gasol said. “We need to feel the game and feed whoever is hotter that particular day. At the same time, we need to keep the mind set that it’s all about winning. It’s not about who plays better or who plays worse. It’s about team effort and getting closer to our goal and getting stronger as the season goes along. As long as we understand that as a team, things will work out.”… “I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to work,” Gasol said. “Obviously I like to be involved and have a chance to be aggressive and create not just for myself, but for others. We all know how comfortable and dangerous we can be when we’re working from the post and other areas. It’ll be getting a feel of what works best for the team and understanding each other’s role and go on from there.”
  • Anthony Davis has all the answers about himself in this interview and has set himself some very, very lofty goals, from Joe Brescia of The New York Times: “Q. What’s your scouting report on yourself? A. I can shoot the midrange. Finish around the rim. A great defender. Can run the floor. And plays hard for the whole game. Q. What part of your game do you want to improve? A. I want to get stronger. Improve my ball-handling and become a better shooter. Q. What do you want to accomplish in your first season in the N.B.A.? A. Win rookie of the year. Make first-team all-rookie, first-team all-defense and defensive player of the year. Q. What player do you compare yourself to? A. K. G. Kevin Garnett. And I like how hard he goes, and he plays good defense along with his offense.”
  • Though he called it a “stretch goal”, Daryl Morey is hoping to fight for a playoff spot for the upcoming season, from Fran Blinebury of “The moves we made were designed to be the right moves whether we pulled off a bigger trade or not,” said general manager Daryl Morey. “We want every player on the team to be one who has a chance to become an All-Star level player or give us the cap flexibility to sign that kind of a player. “This trade didn’t work out. We took a hack, and it didn’t work out. But it doesn’t mean we’re abandoning our plan.”I think our goal for this year … is we fight for a playoff spot, even though it’s one of the most challenging years to do that. The West is strong and if we were to make the playoffs, it means a lot of good things will have happened. Namely Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik or somebody else emerges to become an All-Star. “I think that’s a stretch goal, but were not going to go into the year saying we’re not going fight. Along the way we’ll keep trying to take advantage of every opportunity to make moves that will make us better.”
  • Who is the highest paid player of all time in the NBA? The answer is Kevin Garnett, according to a list of top 100 NBA career salaries of all-time, provided by Warriorsworld.

Derrick Rose opened up about his family and and the experience of growing up in Chicago in this exclusive interview with BET.

DeShawn Stevenson tore it up at the Orlando Pro-Am game.

Kevin Durant is established now

Charles Oakley rips Dwight Howard

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