In Their Own Words: 2014 McDonald’s All-Americans Describe Their Talents

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You’ve heard the saying: “The kids are alright.”

Well, these kids are more than alright.

As the NBA’s ever-evolving landscape of perimeter-oriented and multifaceted skill sets take the basketball world by storm on a nightly basis, the youth who aspire to compete against their heroes (in 2015 or beyond, thanks to the one-and-done rule) have keenly paid attention to the changes in the game and what they mean for their own personal development as players.

SheridanHoops caught up with nine of the 24 McDonald’s All-Americans at Tuesday’s media day to discuss their games: 

SH Blog: Kobe Bryant calls out Lakers’ leadership, former D-League player says MJ is overrated

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kobeKobe Bryant has been sidelined for much of this season due to a couple of devastating injuries, and the Los Angeles Lakers have toiled in the bottom of the conference as a result. Of course, that’s not to say that all would have been well and the Lakers would have been a playoff team if Bryant played, but their record would certainly be better than 22-42 – 1/2 game better than the Utah Jazz who have been in tank mode since the season began.

Despite his absence from the court, however, he has paid attention to everything that has gone on, from how bad the Lakers have been, watching the front office trade away one of his favorite players, and now seeing Phil Jackson joining the New York Knicks. Needless to say, Bryant is less than pleased with it all, from Mike Bresnahan of Los Angeles Times:

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Kevin Love, Kemba Walker named Players of the Week

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NEW YORKKevinLoveSH1 – The Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week.

Walker led the Bobcats to a 4-0 week behind averages of 22.5 points (tied for seventh in the conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 5.5 rebounds. His 40.5 minutes per game ranked third in the East. Walker tallied 20-plus points three times and eclipsed the 30-point plateau once. He scored 24 points, handed out a career-high 16 assists and added five rebounds on Feb. 19, during a 116-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.

He is the first member of the Bobcats to win the award since Stephen Jackson in 2009-10.

Love helped the Timberwolves to a 2-1 behind a league-best 36.7 ppg and 12.7 rpg (fourth in the league). He recorded a point-rebound double-double in all three contests, and notched his first career triple-double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists Saturday during a 121-104 win over the Utah Jazz. Love leads the NBA with 47 double-doubles.

Here is a recap of the week for Walker and Love:

Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats

Feb. 18 @ Detroit: Collected 22 points, six assists and four rebounds in a 108-96 win over the Pistons.
Feb. 19 vs. Detroit: Tallied 24 points, 16 assists and five rebounds during a 116-98 win over the Pistons, finishing a home-and-home sweep.
Feb. 22 vs. Memphis: Scored 31 points and added eight rebounds and five assists in a 92-89 win over the Grizzlies.

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

Feb. 19 vs. Indiana: Scored 42 points and added 16 rebounds in a 104-91 win over the Pacers.
Feb. 22 @ Utah: Collected a triple-double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 121-104 win over the Jazz.
Feb. 23 @ Portland: Posted 31 points and 10 rebounds during a 108-97 loss to the Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Charlotte’s Al Jefferson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin, Miami’s Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s John Wall.

SH Blog: Davis to Replace Kobe in All-Star Game; Knicks Not Happy With Woodson; LeBron Had Regrets in Miami; Walker: ‘”Tanking is Ridiculous”

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AnthonyDavisSH1Only a week out from All-Star Weekend in New Orleans beginning on February 14th, there has been one looming question heading in: who will replace Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference roster?

New NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, answered that question today. To nobody’s surprise he picked the hometown favorite, and well deserving Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. More from USA Today’s Sam Amick

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SH Blog: Morey says Royce White may be the worst first-round pick ever; Knicks chasing Rondo

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SHOULD KOBE BRYANT COME BACK THIS SEASON?

kobeWhether this season is worth coming back to for Bryant was the topic between Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher and Howard Beck. Beck says the guard should probably sit out the entire season because there is nothing to come back to. The Los Angeles Lakers are an injury-ridden mess and are certain to miss the playoffs, so what’s the point?

The issue with sitting Bryant out even if he can come back is this: he needs to have an understanding of where he is physically and mentally heading into next season. There is no replacement for NBA competition. Bryant has suffered two separate devastating injuries he has never had to deal with in the past. There’s no question that he struggled when he initially came back earlier in the season and looked like a shell of himself – perhaps for the first time ever – as he tried to get re-acclimated. If he doesn’t come back this season to find out what level of play he can sustain after suffering a fractured leg, he will be forced to find out next season. Is that something he or the Lakers want to take a chance on?

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