From Ryan Ward, Lakers Nation: At 34 years-old, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers sustained the most severe injury of his NBA career. With a torn Achilles tendon, Kobe was sidelined for the remainder of the last season while the team was attempting to lock up a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Ultimately, the Lakers played their way into the postseason without Kobe in the lineup, but were swept by the San Antonio Spurs and faced a lot of uncertainty heading into the off-season. The major concern was Kobe’s health and whether or not he’d be able to return at some point next season or if he’d be able to continue playing at an elite level. While making an incredible recovery from surgery to repair the torn Achilles, Kobe has been doing his best to prove to all the doubters that he’ll be back to form much earlier than anticipated. One of Kobe’s attempts to prove he was making considerable progress in his recovery was jumping off a 40-foot high dive into a pool.
Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe’s Dive, Lakers-Spurs, Achilles, Nash
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: To make the playoffs, the Lakers need to be better than seven teams in the Western Conference. In the first three of 14 entries, the Lakers were ruled better than theNew Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns but not as good as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Are the Lakers better than the San Antonio Spurs? Tony Parker is often be overlooked on the list of top point guards, but he shouldn’t be. The Lakers, like most of the league, always seem to have problems covering Parker. The Spurs were seconds away from winning the NBA title last season and Parker was a major reason why. Last season he averaged 20.3 points a game with 7.6 assists. San Antonio also has Corey Joseph and Patty Mills behind Parker. Steve Nash, at his best with the Phoenix Suns, was almost always stymied by the Spurs in the playoffs. The Lakers have better depth at the point than they did last year with Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar — more than the Spurs can boast.
From Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo Sports: Earlier in the offseason, we fretted over the prospect of Kobe Bryant returning too soon and shouldering too heavy a burden as he recovered from his Achilles tear from last April. Bryant is no stranger to playing through significant pain, few NBA players in history have gutted through more, but a tear like this (especially at an age like Bryant’s) is a significant departure from the broken fingers and fluid-filled knees that Kobe has had to deal with in seasons past. Second to Kobe, only one man knows Bryant’s body better. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti has been a Kobe confidante since his rookie season in 1996-97, and despite some misgivings over Bryant’s social media-related offseason choices, Vitti says Bryant is taking an exacting, intelligent approach to what will be a career-altering rehabilitation.
From J.M. Poulard, Bleacher Report: Steve Nash did not play up to his capabilities in 2012-13 with the Los Angeles Lakers. There are a couple of things he can do to bounce back in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. The biggest obstacle Nash faced in his first season in Los Angeles was a lack of touches. D’Antoni ran the offense through Kobe Bryant and tasked him with most of the playmaking responsibilities. That meant Bryant was responsible for setting up Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Thus, because Bryant handled the ball most of the time, Nash was relegated to the role of floor spacer. Synergy Sports tells us that 17.8 percent of his field goals came in spot-up situations. That is the highest share of these types of shot attempts Nash has recorded since Synergy Sports began tracking the stat in 2009-10.
david h says
off topic but the nba’s recent consideration of nicknames on nba jerseys is a fantastic idea. imagine the dollars to be made.
black mamba comes to mind first and foremost when it comes to the current laker basketball roster.
as to the rest of the laker lineup, suggest that the business end of laker organization take the lead.
Parrothead Phil says
I hate the idea of nickname jerseys. I also hate the new black Laker alternate uniforms. The Lakers never needed gimmicks before to increase sales. Now they are just like the other 29 teams.
david h says
you’re kidding right? unless your parents have a keen sense of humor, hating nicknames on jerseys coming from someone going by the handle, parrothead, begs to differ.
nothing wrong w/making a few bucks selling nicknamed jerseys to compensate for the possibility of lowered ticket sales this upcoming season?
I LOVE the new black jerseys and the nickname idea.
Also, the Heat and Nets are going to play each other 4 times this time around.
SOOOOOOO many nicknames between the two teams.
T. Rogers says
I love the black jerseys. I actually wanted them over the white ones back when they were introduced in 2002. Nicknames I’m not too sure about. I can see it on All Star game jerseys. Its basically a scrimmage game anyway. However, in a serious game or game that counts it would seem odd to see Kobe running around the court with “Black Mamba” on his back.
Now if the league just wants to sell the nickname jerseys and not have the players wear them that’s different.
Vino would be better for a jersey than Black Mamba, but honestly Kobe doesn’t need nicknames.
Of the guys who are/were on our roster, I think Sasha would’ve been cool with “the Machine”… but that’s really about it.
“The Lakers never needed gimmicks before .. ”
The Lakers also never needed to put up lame and some would say, embarrassing, billboards all over the city in order to convince a certain 6’10” center – who bolted anyway – to remain in FB&G. Welcome to ‘The New’ NBA.
Parrothead Phil says
for the record… I hate the white uniforms too
I wonder what nickname Andre Kirilenko will wear on his jersey. No way the NBA puts AK47 on it. Too controversial. That’s the problem with nicknames: the good ones are not always politically correct.
So the NBA going the way of the XFL with nick names? Theres a good idea. *end sarcasm*
Somebody tell MWP that “He Hate Me” is already taken
I could understand the difficulty of finding an original nickname. Finding original stuff to post has definitely “caught me by surprise”
Nash’s biggest problem was not “a lack of touches”.
it was a broken leg.
Chris J says
I hate the white uniforms. For the longest time, the Lakers stood out by being the only team not to wear white at home. Now they’re just like everyone else, with multiple jerseys to drive up sales. It’s the new economics, but to me there’s a lot to be said for the likes of the Yankees or Raiders in terms of sticking with what works, uniformwise. Classic never goes out of style, so the more purple and gold, the better.
That nickname idea is stupid, just like the T-shirt jerseys. Like T. Rogers said, if they want to sell them, fine. But keep them off the court.
Warren Wee Lim says
I think for all the coolest nicknames #24 can ever suit up on only 1 name is immortal: KOBE.
If you have that in your back, you’re a God of Basketball.
Warren Wee Lim says
Also, if my belief that Blake is moved (possibly with Meeks) this season and Farmar does indeed step up as the pg of te future, it won’t be strange to see off-ball-Nash many times this year.
Renato Afonso says
I’m totally on board with nicknames for one night only, across the league… Seeing Ray Allen in a Shuttlesworth jersey would be great!
Mud – that is a PERFECT description of why Nash had a down season. And it’s exactly what I thought when I read that article.
Rusty Shackleford says
Would the nickname on the back of Nash’s jersey be “Grandpa”?
Warren – I like the idea of moving Blake & Meeks together but for what?
Soon companies will he advertising their products on team jerseys so not really surprised by the nickname idea.
Parrothead Phil says
Chris J is a kindred spirit and more eloquent than me.
I thought this league was a profesional league. You know who put nicknames in the back of their players jerseys? The XFL, remember them? Putting nicks on jerseys makes the NBA look bush league, leave that crap out of it and stop making the NBA look more ghetto. Nicknames and advertisements in uniform. Its a disgrace.
Craig W. says
I think it is inevitable we will have some type of ad on the jerseys, but nicknames would seem to have too many problems to be able to implement across the league. I would guess this would be a periodic thing between specific teams – as it is being done this year – for simply promotional purposes.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up.