SH Blog: Kobe says he destroyed T-Mac one-on-one, T-Mac denies notion

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  • Josh Smith is frustrated in Atlanta, but his agent stopped short of requesting a trade. Ken Berger of CBSSports has the story: “Josh Smith’s agent spoke with Hawks general manager Danny Ferry on Wednesday to discuss what he characterized as “a lot of frustration” with the team’s recent spiral, but stopped short of making a trade request. ”As far as moving forward and whatever changes will be made, that’s more so management’s job to field those calls and make the decisions they feel like are best to move forward,” Smith’s agent, Wallace Prather, told CBSSports.com. While Prather made it clear that Smith is concerned about how the once-hot Hawks have rolled over in losing six of their last seven games and seven out of nine, neither he nor his client has asked for a trade.”
  • Gary Payton has been giving advice to John Wall, according to Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “Me and him have talked a lot on the phone,” Payton told ProBasketballTalk. “He has called me about the situation, the same situation (I was in) to learn about things, and I’ve been talking to him about things and I’ve been talking to him a lot…. “With John Wall I think he understood that he has to get better and he has to go work out and he has to go improve on those things. I think if he knows he’s not good at something, he’ll go workout at it. And that’s what I respect a lot about him and a lot about his game. And I know he’s going to get better because I know he’s got the mentality that he wants to get better, he wants to learn from other people, he wants to take advice from people and he wants to get better.”
  • Rick Carlisle screamed at O.J. Mayo for failing to play more consistently, from Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News: “It’ll be a bigger sign when I don’t have to scream at him at halftime about it,” Carlisle said. Call it tough love. Carlisle went on and on about how thrilled he has been with Mayo’s recent play, starting with the Jan. 1 Washington game. Carlisle saw slippage Wednesday night. “I thought in the first half, he took some shots that were ill-advised, when he is becoming a very good play-maker and a very good all-around basketball player. I’m sorry, it’s beneath me to watch a guy continue to veer off from the path that’s best for him and our team.”
  • Robert Horry was critical of Dwight Howard, who said he’s not changing for anyone. Janis Carr of The OC Register has details: “Former Lakers great Robert Horry said in a radio interview Tuesday that Howard needs to tone down his silliness, get meaner, forget about his teammates and ditch the headband. ”You want a guy to be more focused,” Horry said, pointing to LeBron James’ no-nonsense demeanor in last season’s playoffs. “That’s the kind of guy you want, someone who’s focused, not fun-loving.”… ”It’s made me successful the last nine years,” Howard said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’m not going to stop smiling. This is what I do for a living. ”I play basketball, get paid a lot of money to play basketball, something that teachers and police officers and firemen should (get). But I’m getting paid for it, so I’m going to have fun. I don’t care who has a problem with it.”
  • LeBron James is surprised, but not surprised by the team struggles of the Lakers. Scott-Howard Cooper of NBA.com has the story on Sulia: “Yeah,” he said. “I’m surprised just like everyone else in the sense of how much talent they have. But I’m not surprised in some of the struggles. We had struggles too in Year 1. You can’t force or fast-track camaraderie and guys coming together. It’s a team game and you have to work through a lot of things before it becomes a team. We went through that as well.”
  • Howard admitted feeling the pressure to succeed every time he steps on the court, from Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles: ”Most people hated LeBron for what he did and how he did it,” Howard said. “Not just that he left, but the manner that he left as far as doing it on TV and the whole thing. In this situation, I don’t think people have hate for the Lakers for [trading for Howard and Nash]. I think that’s a little bit different. As far as pressure, with our team, everyone expected us to go 82-0 so there’s a lot of pressure on us. We feel it every time we step on the court and we can hear it every time we miss a shot or somebody scores. People are upset. They don’t expect anybody to score on us. It’s a lot of pressure.”

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  1. Very interesting because the T-Mac / Bryant debate was one that my and my boys had – - back in 2001…2002. Back then, it truly appeared that T-Mac was going to be the more productive NBA player.

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