From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: In one of the most trying seasons of his career, Kobe Bryant has openly discussed retirement and has reiterated that it is realistic that he would hang it up after his current contract expires, which is at the end of next season. This was before the season-ending Achilles tendon rupture on April 12, 2013. While looking at the scar on his Achilles during an interview in Brazil, Bryant talked about his recovery so far and might have possibly reconsidered his retirement plans. Courtesy of KB824Legend (h/t Los Angeles Times), Kobe stated: “I can easily see myself playing another three or four years.”
From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: Coming off spectacular run to the Finals that was tantalizingly close to a fifth title, Tim Duncan has reignited the argument of who is the greatest player of his generation. The question is simple: whose career has been greater, the Big Fundamental or the Black Mamba? One roll of the basketball, and this would be a short article. In an epic Game 7 last Thursday, Tim Duncan had the ball in the post for hisSan Antonio Spurs, staring elimination in the face. Time was running out–48 seconds to be exact–and the team’s all-time franchise player made his move to the center of the key, and attempted a right hook shot over the 6’8″ Shane Battier that would tie the game. This shot was the very same one he’d make 99 out of 100 times, maybe even 999 out of 1,000 times. But that night, that one odd number seemed to rear its ugly head.
From Arash Markazi, ESPN LA: Phil Jackson isn’t quite sure when Kobe Bryant will return to the court next season, but he’s convinced Bryant won’t leave the hardwood for good until he at least ties Michael Jordan’s six titles and surpasses Jordan on the all-time scoring list. “His goal is another championship,” Jackson said Thursday. “He also has a chance to replaceMichael Jordan in the all-time scoring list. Those are two goals, with the first one being a championship, that Kobe would like to accomplish.” Bryant, who has five titles to Jordan’s six, is fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 31,617 points, behind Jordan’s 32,292. Bryant said Thursday his goal is to return to the court with the Lakers sometime in November or December after rupturing his Achilles tendon at the end of last season. “It’s to be seen how well he recovers from the operation,” Jackson said. “Odds are and the belief is it will be very soon in November, which is remarkable.
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The rules changed when the league adopted the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, but Lakers executive and owner Jeanie Buss is confident the franchise will navigate its way back to the top. “We are in 100% in support of those agreements, but as much as they’d like to try to revenue share and make things equal — our basketball expertise, they can’t revenue share away from us,” Buss said. “I believe that as they keep trying to make things more fair, they can never take away what the Lakers have — our history, our experience, our brain power in our front office. We’ll always have an advantage.” On Wednesday, at a Time Warner Cable Media event to honor her late father, Dr. Jerry Buss, Jeanie said the franchise willingly accepted the more stringent rules — including steeper luxury taxes for teams over the salary cap — for the good of the NBA.
From Lucas Tucker, Yahoo Sports: Fresh off their first “title” of Pacific Division winner, the Los Angeles Clippers are bringing Doc Rivers to Hollywood to man their sidelines. There’s no denying that Doc is a top-tier coach, but there might be some culture shock next October when he watches the Clippers raise their first banner in Staples Center – celebrating last year’s division title. Doc comes from a place that doesn’t celebrate anything less than championships. Neither do the Clippers’ roommates. Hiring Doc is another move in the right direction, but should you ever question which franchise rules Los Angeles, just look at the rafters in Staples Center. Coming from Boston, Doc knows which L.A. is chant-worthy.