Scotto: Kobe Bryant and Lakers Diagram Newest Championship Blueprint

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Kobe BryantKobe Bryant deserved every penny, if not more, of his two-year, $48.5 million contract extension.

And I’ll say this: Bryant doesn’t deserve to be criticized as selfish for the amount of money he will make, and any subsequent cap space the Lakers lose as a result.

Two of Bryant’s teammates, Chris Kaman and Xavier Henry, strongly agree.

“I personally think he deserved more,” Kaman told SheridanHoops. “I know the only exception with that comment is that it can be hard for teams to get other guys and to fit pieces in when a guy makes that much money. But other than that, I think with the television deal the Lakers got and with the long-term sponsors they’ve gotten off of the back of Kobe and some other players, I think he deserves it. I think he could have been underpaid for what the owners are making compared to what he’s making.”

“He’s earned everything he’s got,” Henry told Sheridan Hoops. “He literally has earned every single thing he’s gotten, so for people to think he should take more of a pay cut is really not the right idea and it’s unappreciative of what he’s done.”

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NBA Rumors and News for October 22, 2013

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Tuesday, October 22

Daily Trivia: Which team won the first NBA Draft Lottery? Answer below.

NBA GMs survey released
Posted at 06:54 PM ET
Kobe+Bryant+James+Harden+FI7eIhOBUprm The controversial and sometimes questionable general managers survey was released Tuesday, and though most predictions seemed reasonable, one vote in particular may shock some people. As Chris Sheridan writes, Kobe Bryant has lost his title as the top shooting guard. “The general managers have spoken, and boy — they’ve said a mouthful. For the first time in the 12-year history of the NBA.com survey, the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant (20%) was not selected by GMs as the best player at his position, as the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (56.7%) was selected as the best shooting guard in the NBA.” The second place vote is all Bryant needs at this point. After a potentially career ending Achilles injury late last season, he’s been working hard to get back on the court. In August, ESPN predicted the Lakers to finish 12th in the Western Conference. Just last week, ESPN dropped Bryant down to 25th on its rankings for the best NBA players this upcoming season.

Wolves to pick up Williams, Rubio contract options
Posted at 06:39 PM ET
The Minnesota Timberwolves will pick up Derrick Williams’ $6.7 million contract option for 2014-15 and do the same with Ricky Rubio’s $5 million option as well, a team source confirms to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. The decision on Rubio’s contract before next week’s season opener is no surprise. The Williams’ decision was pretty much expected, too.

TNT pregame NBA opener set for NYC plaza
Posted at 09:56 AM ET
TNT is taking its NBA pregame studio show to New York for the opening night of the season, part of a three-day celebration. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will broadcast live Oct. 29 from Flatiron Plaza, where there will be a basketball court, NBA 2K14 video game kiosks, and a large videoboard perched 30 feet above Broadway and Fifth Avenue for fans to watch the show, which will include live coverage of the Miami Heat’s championship ring ceremony. Celebrating its 30th year of NBA coverage, Turner Sports will begin with three straight nights of doubleheaders, including the Miami-Chicago opener that will be followed by the Lakers playing the Clippers. NBA TV will televise two games Oct. 30 before TNT has another doubleheader the following night. NBA.com via Brian Mahoney Associated Press.

Trivia Answer: The Knicks won the lottery and the right to pick Georgetown center Patrick Ewing.

NBA Rumors and News for October 21, 2013

Extension Deadline Looming For 2010 NBA Draft Class

Hayward expecting big payday; Monroe likely headed for free agency

Brett Poirier manages the Rumors and News page for Sheridan Hoops.

StatBox NBA Finals Breakdown: James & Wade finally show assertiveness to even series

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LBJLeBron James hadn’t even attempted at least 25 field goals in a game since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Indiana. You have to go back to March 18 against Boston for the last time James converted on at least 15 field goals.

Six Analytical Reasons The Lakers Have Improved This Month

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Players, coaches and management often talk about the “little things” that win basketball games.

These standard cliches and generic quotes lead to the rolling of many eyeballs around the world, but minute adjustments can actually make a difference in a team’s results and could even help change the public’s perception of a team.

Case in point: The 2012-2013 edition of the Los Angeles Lakers.

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