While the headlines on Friday evening were dominated by the first trade of the young NBA season — Washington and Phoenix completed a deal centered around Emeka Okafor, Marcin Gortat and a 2014 1st round draft pick — one team out West made yet another under-the-radar move that could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.
SH Blog: Warriors and Bogut Agree To Three Year Extension; Wizards Make First Trade; LeBron Claims He Has No Rival
The NBA, arguably better than any major sport, has made extreme efforts to become a global league. While it’s not reported on consistently in the media, both the NBA and the NFL have an eye on London as the hub of a new international team.
SH Blog: Gasol Stands His Ground In LA; Attorney Claims Perkins Is Innocent; Beasley Punches Self In Head
There is hope that Kobe Bryant will return early this season, but at age 37 and coming off a torn Achilles, the Black Mamba returning as his former self is no certainty.
So as Gasol enters the final year of his contract with the Lakers, that precarious question has been asked: will Gasol take less money to help the Lakers improve next year?
SH Blog: Bryant still a few weeks away from fully running, how Kerr received a black eye from Jordan
The superstar guard gave us great optimism when he confidently jumped into a pool from 40-plus feet above the ground last month. However, we are now just 36 days away before the Los Angeles Lakers play their first game of the season, and there is still no concrete news on when Bryant will resume basketball activities. The only thing we know at this point is that he is still a “few weeks away” from being able to run without any limitations, meaning he is not anywhere near caught up to speed in terms of basketball activities. Team trainer Gary Vitti explained the situation to the best of his knowledge, from Mark Medina of Daily News:
Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti explained “This guy hasn’t had a lot of time off over the last few years,” Vitti said of Bryant, who had competed in two Olympics and in three NBA Finals appearances in recent seasons. “To attribute it to a certain number of games where he played more minutes is being short-sighted.”
He estimated Bryant remains a “few weeks away” before advancing to full-weight bearing running and then basketball-related activities. Vitti also said “there’s no projected date” on whether Bryant will play in the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers or in any of the team’s eight exhibition games through Oct. 25.
“I thought he was going to be worse with pushing, pushing, pushing,” Vitti said of Bryant. “But he’s been very, very smart about the entire process.”
Bryant jumped off a 40-foot high dive, something he soon posted on Vine, a social media video player.
“I wasn’t real happy with it,” Vitti said.
When the Golden State Warriors made it to the 2013 NBA playoffs for the first time in six years – and just the second time in 19 dreadful years - it appeared the team was finally headed in the right direction. From ownership, management, coaching and the talent level, you could sense that what the Warriors were building was legitimate and lasting. This was going to be more than just another short-lived “We Believe” season.
The Warriors continued in that direction in the offseason by surprisingly making a real run at Dwight Howard. It never came to fruition, but think about that for a second: Dwight Howard actually considered Golden State as a desirable location. In the last two decades, no superstar has ever considered the idea of settling down with the Warriors, and the ones already on the team with the potential to be superstars all wanted to leave.
So how did the Warriors build this suddenly respectable reputation and become a desirable destination for superstars and veterans? A lot of it has to do with what happened in the playoffs, and partly due to the charisma of coach Mark Jackson.