- Yahoo Sports3 hrs ago
LOS ANGELES – As Sunday morning had come and gone, the afternoon lurching until it was time to leave for the Staples Center, Kobe Bryant found himself trapped between the nostalgia of a long journey back and the road rapidly unfolding beneath his worn wheels.
Eventually, everything turned to black and a sellout crowd stood on its feet Sunday night, calling Kobe's name over and over, louder and louder, and here was one of the greatest in the history of the game running onto the floor for pregame introductions and directly into the darkness. Kobe Bryant was thinking back, when he has for so long trained himself to be thinking forward.
Eight months after tearing his Achilles tendon and fearing that he could be done forever, Bryant was a lost soul between his yesterday and today, between catharsis and comeback.
- Yahoo Sports6 hrs ago
As the Memphis Grizzlies search for guard depth, they'll work out several free agents and NBA Development League players early this week, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Free-agent guards Darius Morris and Reggie Williams will join Seth Curry of the D-League's Santa Cruz Warriors, sources told Yahoo Sports.
There is expected to be another free-agent or D-League guard or two at the workouts, sources said.
Morris started the season with the Philadelphia 76ers before getting released in late November. Williams went to training camp with the Houston Rockets, but was cut. He has also worked out for the Chicago Bulls.
Curry, the younger brother of Golden State star Stephen Curry, is averaging 19.8 points and 7.7 assists for Santa Cruz. He was an undrafted rookie out of Duke.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
PORTLAND, Ore. – In the final, raucous redemptive seconds, LaMarcus Aldridge had to stop and listen to something belonging to him here. All these years, and someone else was the most beloved Blazer. All these years, and someone else was the star. All these years, and it had become a matter of time until management found a trade for him.
And then this on Wednesday night: "MVP…" they stood and screamed in the old Rose Garden.
Out of all the bad breaks and bad knees here, out all the hard feelings and hard losses, LaMarcus Aldridge closed out one of the most peerless performances in the NBA this season: 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. All around him, the din was downright deafening.
"Humbling to have that moment here," Aldridge said later. "I've been here so long and I've had very few of those types of chants here."
"M-V-P," they screamed and swayed into the night. All around him, Rip City.
"The best power forward in the game," Blazers guard Wesley Matthews declared. "He's always been the centerpiece but now, he's embracing it."
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
After Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd blistered top assistant Lawrence Frank in a staff meeting on Nov. 4, the partnership was irreparably damaged and ultimately spiraled to its end on Tuesday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Hours after a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic – Kidd's first game on the bench following a two-game suspension to start the season – the entire coaching staff witnessed Kidd lose his temper with Frank and escalate a strangely uneasy and brief coaching partnership together.
There had been conversations about moving forward together in recent weeks, league sources said, but the decision to let go of Frank was Kidd's choice.
Kidd told reporters on Tuesday night that Frank – the highest-paid assistant in the NBA – had been reassigned to writing daily reports and would no longer be on the Nets bench. It is unclear if the Nets will actually require Frank to perform those duties to gather the rest of his $1 million annual coaching contract, league sources said.
"With Jason," one league source told Yahoo Sports, "once he turns on you, he turns. That's how he was as a player, and that's what we're seeing again now."
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Exum, a 6-foot-6 guard, and his family will host agents from most of the major North American firms in December and early January in Sydney, sources told Yahoo.
Several agents involved in the process believe that Exum, 18, will turn pro, and expect he'll come over to the United States in February to start working out for the June draft. His father, Cecil, played at the University of North Carolina and in the National Basketball League of Australia.
"I want to make a decision by February," Exum told the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. "It shouldn't be too hard [a decision] to make."
One major college coach, who had recruited Exum hard on the chance he could come to the United States for a season of college basketball, told Yahoo Sports that he believes Exum will enter the 2014 draft.
Draftexpress.com has Exum rated as the fourth best potential prospect in the draft class, behind only Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky's Julius Randle and Duke's Jabari Parker.
- Yahoo Sports10 days ago
The NBA will fine Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd $50,000 for dropping a cup of soda on the floor in order to manipulate extra time in Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told Yahoo Sports.
With Brooklyn out of timeouts, TV replays caught Kidd telling Nets guard Tyshawn Taylor to "hit me" with 8.3 seconds left at the Barclays Center. Taylor immediately walked into Kidd who spilled a beverage, forcing the officials to take time to clean up the court while Nets assistant coach John Welch drew up an offensive play in an impromptu huddle.
The tactic didn't help the Nets. Lakers guard Jodie Meeks made both of his free throws and the Nets' Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer on Brooklyn's following possession.
The Nets lost the game against the Lakers 99-94 to fall to 4-11.
After the game, Kidd initially denied having Taylor intentionally walk into him.
"The cup slipped out of my hand," Kidd told reporters at the game. "I was getting tired. Sweaty palms. I was never good with the ball. So, in the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game, and the Coke fell out of my hand."
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
After turning down offers in China and Europe, free-agent guard Kendall Marshall, a 2012 Phoenix Suns first-round pick, will join the NBA Development League, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Marshall has entered his name into the D-League's pool of players, and a waiver process early next week will determine which team will acquire him, sources said.
For Marshall, 22, this is a chance to be in position once an NBA call-up opportunity becomes available to him. With the inevitable need for backup point guard help in the NBA, Marshall will likely have a chance to move back up if he plays well in the D-League.
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Marshall was the 13th overall pick in the 2012 draft to the Suns and moved on to Washington as part of the Suns' Marcin Gortat trade in November. Without the roster space for Marshall, the Wizards released him.
After entering the draft following his sophomore season at North Carolina, Marshall played 48 games for the Suns last season.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
WASHINGTON – For 24 hours, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant listened to the residue of culture created out of the genius of commissioner David Stern and his owners. Between the incompetence of Players Association executive director Billy Hunter and an indifferent and uninformed union membership, the NBA skillfully rigged a collective bargaining agreement to devalue and defang the superstars responsible for driving the game to unprecedented popularity and profitability.
The disdain delivered to Kobe Bryant for signing a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension had left him surprised, but ultimately understanding of how the conversation has conspired to turn this way. Bryant hadn't come to apologize for his deal on Tuesday night, but hold it up and tell the rest of his peers: Bleep this system.
- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
WASHINGTON – Between his signature on a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension and a cross-country flight to the East Coast on Monday, Kobe Bryant was left befuddled and bemused by those who declared him greedy and uncaring about chasing championships.
"This was easy," Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Monday night. "This wasn't a negotiation. The Lakers made their offer with cap and building a great team in mind while still taking care of me as a player.
"I simply agreed to the offer."
Until the hours before the Lakers' meeting with the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, that's all Bryant would say about the contract extension. He is 35 years old, working his way back from a torn Achilles and the Buss family is still betting Bryant is the best free-agent star available on the market, betting that Bryant can still drive ticket sales and TV ratings and make these Lakers relevant again.
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- Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
Everything had aligned so perfectly for Derrick Rose, the minuscule odds of the Chicago Bulls winning the draft lottery transforming the son of the city's South Side into a franchise savior. He was the youngest Most Valuable Player in NBA history, on his way to a statue someday near No. 23 on the steps of the United Center.
He has come home chasing championships for the Bulls, chasing the ghost of Michael Jordan, and yet slowly, surely Rose is beginning to resemble a different Chicago sporting icon: Gale Sayers.
Rose could turn out to be the superstar whose name leaves everyone nodding and wondering: What could've been? An immortal career could turn into something simply very good – or something far worse.
For Rose, it's another knee injury, another surgery, perhaps another lost season. After an arduous year and a half to return from an ACL tear in his left knee, Rose couldn't make it a month into the regular season.