(Land O’ Lakers had this clip of Phil Jackson talking about a potential retirement after this season on their site yesterday. This interview was conducted in December, so some of you may have already seen this, but for those of you who haven’t, enjoy!)
Yesterday, Forbes released their NBA franchise values yesterday and the New York Knicks surpassed the Lakers in overall value. You can check the Forbes report here.
From Dan Feldman, Piston Powered: Forbes released its projections for NBA franchise values today, and the Pistons slipped to 13th at $360 million. The declines hardly comes as a surprise, but it’s still not encouraging to see. I worry about the timing of this report, because based only on blind odds, the projection is more likely to hinder negotiations between Karen Davidson and Tom Gores than help the process. One side could easily use Forbes’ $360 million projection to strengthen its bargaining power, and I doubt the other side would be thrilled with that. Still, there’s a chance both sides were already hovering around a $360 million price tag, and Forbes’ report just confirmed to Davidson and Gores the deal was fair. I’m hoping for that.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Sitting at his locker, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant held court with a handful of reporters in a joyful mood that captured the Lakers’ 120-91 victory Tuesday over the Utah Jazz. Informed that he has shot at least 50% in the past seven games, Bryant deadpanned, “I’m good.” Amid the Lakers’ balance that featured a team-high 36 assists and a continuously strong defensive performance that held the Jazz to 41.9% shooting, Bryant offered a quick reminder that the team shouldn’t rest on his laurels. “Just because it’s my 15th year,” Bryant said, “doesn’t mean I can’t get better.” And at one point, Bryant went into a profanity-laced tirade, joking he wasn’t going to keep answering the “million questions” reporters had for him.
From Broderick Turner, LA Times: Andrew Bynum had more rebounds than shot attempts against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and had more blocked shots than personal fouls.?? That was a sign of how far the Lakers’ center has come since being inserted into the starting lineup. ??His focus, however, is not on offense, but on defense, rebounding and being a deterrent.?? “We have a lot of scorers on this team, so offensively, if you get a play run for you, you better be successful with it because we’ve got a lot of guys who are able to score,” Bynum said after the 29-point win over the Jazz. “But defensively, I think I can be active and challenge a lot of shots, change a lot of shots.”?? And that’s what he did against the Jazz, blocking three shots, altering several others, while picking up just two fouls.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: That’s partially why the Lakers have yet to see the full benefits Bynum has brought, though there have been a few steps he’s taken. He fought through a torn meniscus in his right knee during the 2010 NBA Finals. He’s also bolstered the team’s record since returning this season to the starting lineup in the past 15 games to 12-3, its defensive identity to the third-best in opponent’s field-goal percentage, and with an average of 13.3 points on 59.3% shooting, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots in 27.2 minutes. Bynum’s injuries are also partially why he’s yet to achieve what he deems to be a significant goal in making the NBA All-Star team, though going through a 23-game stretch last season without a double-double didn’t help his cause, either. With the league set to announce Thursday the All-Star starters for the game that takes place Feb. 20 at Staples Center, it’s conceivable Bynum will have to wait another season to fulfill that position.