Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat during the NBA game at Staples Center on December 25, 2010 in Los Angeles.
ESPN reported Thursday that as Kobe Bryant prepares to exit the NBA in a few years that the Lakers are manuevering to get themselves a new leader. Who better than LeBron James?
"Several teams' executives have told ESPN.com they believe the Lakers are positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James in 2014, when the Miami Heat star can choose to become a free agent," the website wrote this morning.
Bryant, 32, has repeatedly said that he only expects to play in the league until his contract is up in June of 2014, which just happens to be when King James could become a free agent.
The speculation of LBJ to the LAL sped through Twitter faster than 6-foot-8-inch forward driving the lane. But, surprisingly, there was very little support of the possible monster deal if the Lakers could make salary cap room available two years from now.
Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks during a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California.
After Laker star Kobe Bryant deemed him unworthy to have played in the NBA, Smush Parker launched an offensive against his former teammate.
Wednesday an injured Bryant told reporters that William Henry "Smush" Parker was "the worst. He shouldn't have been in the NBA but we were too cheap to pay for a point guard. So we let him walk on." Kobe also criticized other members of his team, but singled out Parker.
“I’m lost for words. It makes me blush. For my name to still come out of that man’s mouth? It makes me blush. It makes no sense,” Parker told Hard 2 Guard Radio, which was later transcribed by Larry Brown Sports.
The point guard and the shooter never got along, and Friday Parker explained why.
“What I personally don’t like about him is the man that he is, his personality, how he treats people. I don’t mess with that man. I don’t like that side of Kobe Bryant," Parker said. "Basketball is a team sport. It’s team-oriented. It’s not an individual sport. It’s not tennis or golf, it is a team sport. When you are the star of the team, you have to make your teammates feel comfortable. You have to make them feel welcome. You have to make it a good working environment. He did not do that at all.”
Parker claimed in the 30-minute interview that he was told by Bryant that he shouldn't talk to the star. “Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant – he's my teammate, he's a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day when I go into work. I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him, with a serious face. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I can come talk to him. He was dead serious.”
Kobe didn't talk with his teammates, Parker alleged. “He never made any attempt to develop any kind of friendships with any of his teammates. Not when I was there. On road trips, he traveled with his security guards. Those were the guys he talked to. He didn’t talk to any of his teammates. On the team plane, he sat in the back of the plane by himself."
That loner behavior continued off the court, Parker said, even on a moment meant to bond over post-season success.
Time Warner Cable
A handout announcing Time Warner Cable Sportsnet broadcasting the Lakers 2012-2013 season
As the NBA season gets closer to tipping off, Lakers fans are getting nervous that the team won't be able to be seen in homes that don't receive Time Warner cable.
The new look purple-and-gold recently partnered with the cable giant who is having a hard time convincing other SoCal outlets to carry the games. Because of that, millions of tv sets poised to broadcast Kobe, Pau, and Metta World Peace join forces with newly acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard will be blacked out unless deals are reached with the likes of DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, Cox, Dish and others.
Playfully, yesterday we recommended five ways people can watch the games without having Time Warner cable, including moving to San Diego or Fresno, which we assumed were far enough away from Staples Center that it would avoid a blackout.
Harry How/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10: Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns laughs with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at the Staples Center on December, 10 2008 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Steve Nash;Kobe Bryant
The Lakers have assembled a veteran team of all-stars with the addition of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Finally the people of L.A. will start saying "Clippers who?"
Unfortunately, the purple-and-gold have also partnered with cable giant Time Warner who is having a hard time convincing any other outlet to carry the games.
Right now, unless you have Time Warner cable, you can't see the new look Lakers. DirecTV, Charter, Dish, Cox, Verizon and AT&T's U-verse are all balking at Time Warner's price tag of $3.95 per viewer, thus a big chunk of SoCal will miss Nash's flashy passes and Howard's monster jams. Even people who work for the Lakers.
"I've been a DirecTV customer for years, so I understand what everyone is going through," Lakers executive vice president for business operations Jeanie Buss told Bill Plaschke. "The providers have to decide whether they want to take our channel, and it's the customers who have to be vocal in letting their provider know they want it."
Harris County Sheriff's Office
Jordan Hill booking photo
Lakers backup forward Jordan Hill was sentenced Thursday to one year of probation after he plead no contest to allegedly hitting and choking his former girlfriend in February when he was a member of the Houston Rockets.
Hill was instructed to participate in domestic-violence counseling and forbidden from making any contact with his former girlfriend, Darlene Luna, whom he had dated for about a year and a half.
According to the Associated Press, Luna sobbed on the witness stand as she testified that the 6-foot-10 Hill had never struck her until the alleged incident when he hit her legs with his fist, pulled her off a couch and then put her in a choke-hold from behind.
Each side had famous attorneys. Hill hired Rusty Hardin, the Houston lawyer who successfully defended Roger Clemens. Luna was represented by Gloria Allred who recently was retained by two of Tiger Woods' alleged mistresses.