Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe’s Letter To MJ, Free Agency, Coaching Staff, Dwight

Ryan Cole —  May 7, 2013

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Assistant coaches Bernie Bickerstaff and Chuck Person were told Monday they would not be retained by the Lakers for next season. Bickerstaff was 4-1 in relief of Mike Brown last November, the longtime veteran serving as a brief bridge from Brown to Mike D’Antoni. Person was the last connection to Phil Jackson’s staff. He stayed on when Brown was hired in May 2011 and also was retained by D’Antoni. He was primarily responsible for defense under Jackson and Brown, though his role changed under D’Antoni. D’Antoni retained all of Brown’s assistants after being hired by the Lakers but a slimming of the staff seemed inevitable after the season.

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: There was a time when Earl Clark was an integral part of the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers. His sudden emergence off the bench to become a role player for L.A. was a welcome sight as the Lakers needed just about any spark they could fine through the regular season. In fact, we detailed Clark’s emergence in our Playbook series when he showed he could contribute to the the purple and gold.Then, something happened. Perhaps the proper terminology would be that nothing happened, though, as Clark became a ghost of the player that had showed he deserved a shot at playing time. By the time the playoffs concluded it was as if Clark was that same basketball player who came to the Lakers as a throw-in for Howard. The fear of Clark playing himself into a bigger contract than the Lakers could offer has transformed into an entirely different discussion: should the Lakers even offer him a contract?

From Serena Winters, Lakers Nation: On the day of Dwight Howard’s introductory press conference, the big man could not wipe the smile off his face. He declared that day, August 11th, 2012, as “Lakers Day” and said that he was “so happy right now it’s hard to think.” Then, eight months later, after an entire team was beat down and wounded, the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. It was the first time since 1978 that the Lakers’ postseason didn’t extend till the month of May. The “super team” collapsed, and the Lakers were having exit interviews in April rather than playing for a championship in June. Back on that day, which Dwight Howard declared as “Lakers Day”, Howard felt nothing but love from the fans.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: For a franchise that has won 16 titles, any Los Angeles Lakers season that doesn’t end with a championship is considered a failure. But rather than just dole out a blanket “F” for the Lakers’ disappointing 2012-13 season, we’re going to break down each player’s production in groups: Today it’s the starters. Last week, we covered the bench backcourt and bench frontcourt. Check back for grades on the coaching staff and front office.

From Kings Of The NBA, FOX Sports: What’s up old timer?  I see you managed to pull away from the golf course and casino long enough to talk.  That’s great.  I’m happy to see that you’re still as cocky as you ever was.  That’s the MJ we’ve all come to know and love.  The GOAT, Superman and in the words of Larry Bird, “God playing basketball”.  It’s an honor to even be mentioned as the successor to your throne; and you’re right, I have spent years learning your style.  In fact, I think I’ve mastered a few of your moves.  However, to set the record straight, I never said I would be better than you.  As you said in your letter, we’re very different people.  We have different swag, different personalities and completely different teams.  You will always go down as the greatest to ever lace em up.  However, you never really had to be.  You simply wanted to be.  That’s what makes you MJ, and me Kobe.

Ryan Cole