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Thursday , Apr , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Sells More Jerseys than LeBron in ’09-’10

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant once again tops the NBA’s list of most popular jerseys, where he has reigned as No. 1 since the start of the 2008-09 season. The list is based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and on NBAStore.com since the start of the 2009-10 NBA season through April 2010. Both stores are having record sales years with a combined increase of 20 percent over last year.

Thirteen players competing in the 2010 Playoffs appear on this year’s list. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James remains No. 2 and the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett climbed one spot from last year to No. 3. Chicago Bulls sophomore Derrick Rose continues to make a name for himself, coming in at No. 4, while the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard rounds out the top 5. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant debuts in the top 10 for the first time, landing at No. 9, while the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony moves from No. 15 to No. 10.
 
Can Oklahoma City Thunder really upset Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?
Saturday , Apr , 24 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Can Oklahoma City Thunder really upset Kobe Bryant and L.A. Lakers?

The Quick Hit: It was supposed to be case of master versus student. It has become a case of student challenging master.

Quite simply, the Los Angeles Lakers, with all their star power and glitz, were expected to handle the talented but inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder. After all, the Lakers had that Larry O’Brien swagger; the Thunder were unproven upstarts.

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Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC
Sunday , Apr , 18 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC

I'll be taking quick notes as I watch the game here. Feel free to drop in your comments below. They update in real time.

- What is Andrew Bynum drinking? A pre-game shot shows him chugging a foaming red liquid from a water bottle.

- OKC tosses the ball to Durant for the first play.  He dribbles around for a few seconds before tossing up an awkward brick. Bad opening.

- Pau connects on a shot with so much arc the ball came down with snow on it.

- That red stuff is obviously working for Bynum, who connects on his first attempt.

- Durant botches an open layup. Let's hope that's a fumble and not a sign of the pressure getting to him.

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All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes
Saturday , Apr , 17 , 2010 Oly Sandor

All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes

The Quick Hit: For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Orlando Magic, it’s all or nothing.

The all is having Commissioner David Stern hand over the Larry O’Brien trophy in two months and pronounce them world champions in a champagne soaked ceremony.

Only the all will do. Only the all will satisfy their demanding fan base. Only the all will satisfy their demanding owners, who have taken on multi-million dollar luxury tax payments for this precise moment.

While nothing, or falling short of an NBA Title, will force Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Orlando to make wholesale changes this off-season. Right or wrong, fair or not, these are the stakes when playing for a contender.

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Monday , Apr , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant: I Want to Sharpen up in Last Two Games

Kobe Bryant won't be missing any more games this season to rest his legs and swollen right knee. He plans on playing when the Lakers close the regular season with a back-to-back Tuesday against Sacramento and Wednesday against the Clippers to "sharpen up" and said "we want to win both of these games."

Bryant's shot could certainly use a little sharpening. Bryant shot just 8-for-23 on Sunday after sitting out the Lakers last two games in hopes of getting back the lift in his legs that was lacking and affecting the trajectory of his attempts. Bryant's shot total in the last three games he's played in is an alarming 21-for-70 (30 percent). 

 

While his final line didn't reflect it, Bryant said the time off made a difference, in his limbs at least, but straddled the line when rest leads to rust.

"It feels pretty good," Bryant said. "It's a little rusty, a little stiff from not playing, not being active. I'll be fine. That's why it's important to get out there and play a little bit, loosen up the joints a little bit . . . It's OK. It feels strong."

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The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos
Sunday , Apr , 11 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

The NBA’s 50 Worst Tattoos

You wouldn't believe the number of inky abominations etched into the pelts of pro ballers.  I'd originally planned a simple list of the league's ten worst tats, but when my dishonourable mention section hit double digits I realised I'd need to expand the scope of the project a little.  Even when I elongated the list to twenty-five terrible tattoos, I still found that I had to exclude some real atrocities.  In the end it took a full fifty spots to showcase the shittiest skin art in the L.

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The NBA’s Worst Tattoos: 10-1
Saturday , Apr , 10 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

The NBA’s Worst Tattoos: 10-1

If you're finding this feature for the first time, you might want to check out the previous parts to warm up.  We don't want you straining an eyeball.

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 50-41

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 40-31

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 30-21

The NBA's Worst Tattoos 20-11

The NBA's Worst Tattoos: 10-1

10. Kobe Bryant's "Vanessa" Tattoo

So, to recap, Kobe's biceps is adorned with a crown, butterflies, angel wings, Vanessa's hair and Vanessa's name.  I can't help but feel he could have saved some space by simply stamping the word "Sorry!" on his arm and calling it quits.

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Wednesday , Apr , 07 , 2010 Christopher Sells

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Lakers?

Gregg Popovich, the brutally honest and sometimes abrasive coach of the San Antonio Spurs, summed up what every team in the Western Conference was thinking when he told us all that no one wanted to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. In doing so, he broke one of the unwritten rules of sports: Never let your opponent know you're afraid of them. You can be afraid and they can know you're afraid, but you can't actually say it. Once you do, they have an advantage over you. They don't only know that they're better than you, they know that you know they're better than you. And at that point, they're free to impose their will upon you and send you home in four or five games.

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Monday , Apr , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Greg Popovich: Nobody Wants Lakers in First Round

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, speaking before Sunday's game in Los Angeles, knows his team is the seventh seed in the West thanks to its two-game winning streak and wants no part of falling back into the eighth seed and a playoff matchup with the top-seeded Lakers.

"The ones that say, 'We don't care who we play,' they're full of baloney," Popovich said. "We're all trying to hide from the Lakers in the first round and that's the truth.

"Really, it's like, 'Who do you want to play in the first round?,'" Popovich continued before sarcastically answering his question. "Oh, the Lakers! We'll play the Lakers!"

San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Portland are within a game of each other to determine the sixth, seventh and eighth seeds in the West. Popovich said the playoff race is the toughest it's ever been.

"We're all kind of fighting to try get our position or move up and nobody is giving any ground to anybody else," he said. 

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End of Zen: Kobe Bryant’s extension complicates Phil Jackson’s return as L.A. Lakers’ coach
Sunday , Apr , 04 , 2010 Oly Sandor

End of Zen: Kobe Bryant’s extension complicates Phil Jackson’s return as L.A. Lakers’ coach

The Quick Hit: There are many theories on the Los Angeles Lakers' recent struggles.

Perhaps, they’re bored having all but locked up first in the Western Conference standings. Perhaps, players are distracted by the trappings of Hollywood. Perhaps, they miss injured giant Andrew Bynum more than they care to acknowledge. Perhaps, Kobe Bryant’s on-going contract negotiations and unknown future was unsettling. And perhaps, tension exists between Bryant and Pau Gasol over shots and touches.

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Saturday , Apr , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant Signs Three-Year Extension with Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Kobe Bryant to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” said Kupchak. “Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA Championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
 
The Big Appeal: why Kobe Bryant and LeBron James like New York Knicks
Monday , Mar , 29 , 2010 Oly Sandor

The Big Appeal: why Kobe Bryant and LeBron James like New York Knicks

Why leave a championship contender for an organization years away from contending?

This is the question Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will face if either leaves the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers as an unrestricted free agent this summer to sign with the dysfunctional New York Knicks.

 

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Sunday , Mar , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Alvin Gentry: Kobe Is Best Closer Ever

"He's the best closer in the history of the game if you ask me," Gentry said. "Yeah, that is including Michael Jordan. I just think what he's done this year, to have six game-winning shots that come on the last possession of the game, I don't know if anybody has ever done that.

"If that's the case, we have to try to make somebody else be that closer. That's not to say that he'll give it up. I've seen him make it over three guys, too. But as far as we're concerned, we have to try to get the ball out of his hands some kind of way."

Gentry noted that Bryant was on the floor at 4:45 p.m. putting up shots - and it turned out he actually had gotten out there about a half-hour earlier.

"I tell our guys, 'You want to be great?' That's how you become great," Gentry said. 

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Friday , Mar , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe’s Father Applies for Hawaii Coaching Job

Another notable candidate has emerged for the Rainbow Warrior basketball head coaching vacancy.
 
Joe "Jellybean" Bryant told KHON2 today that he plans on submitting his application tomorrow.

Bryant is a former professional hoopster who played in the NBA as well as overseas.

He’s also the father of current NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

"Jellybean's" coaching career took him all over....from an assistant at his alma mater, Lasalle University to head coach of the WNBA’s L.A. sparks. 

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