Fast Break

Kurt —  August 21, 2006

It’s the dog days of summer for NBA bloggers, with little news worthy of debate. I just look at the Countdown to tip-off at the right and think, “That long?!?” Still, there are a few things worth noting.

• The good news: Kobe, wearing a #24 jersey, will be on the cover of the NBA 07 game for Sony Playstation. That and his new marketing deal with Sony are signs that his reputation is starting to rehab, not so much with Laker fans (where it never ebbed as much) but with hoops fans and the general public.

• The bad news: Last season it was Amare Stoudemire on the NBA 06 cover. The last time Kobe was on the cover was 02, which was the last edition before his fateful trip to Colorado. Let’s hope there’s not a jinx involved.

• Brian Cook says he has been working out hard this off-season — and with good reason, he’s a free agent next summer.

“I’ve been watching a lot of game tape and working out, trying to make my body stronger and quicker. I’ve lost a lot of weight and am down to about 242 or 243 (pounds) right now,” said Cook, who was listed at 258 pounds last season. “I’ve learned I have to be able to run with these quicker guys.

“I’m watching film because I want to know how teams are playing me. Since I can shoot, they’re going to run at me, so I’m working on being able to put the ball on the floor to be a playmaker, to get the ball to the open man. I’m also working on improving my defense, being a good team defender and drawing charges, grabbing rebounds.”

• Roland Lazenby’s latest blog post is well worth a read, if for no other reason than to get a description of Phil Jackson’s Montana retreat. It sounds a little nicer than my digs.

• There have been a couple minor changes to the site — a new search feature and you can now click on the header at the top of the page and get back to the home page (finally). A few more things are in the works, but it will be a little closer to the season before they go live.