The NBA rookie class of 1996 was arguably one of the greatest array of players assembled to the NBA from the NCAA [and high school]. Some have moved on, some have turned to coaching, one has just recently called it quits and now the biggest star of them all has hinted that this might be it too.
KOBE CAN’T SEE HIMSELF PLAYING BEYOND NEXT SEASON
I suppose that this was coming sooner rather than later. It was just a question of when?
Lakers star Kobe Bryant, currently on a $48million contract which ends in 2016 had stated that he doesn’t think he will be playing beyond his current deal. Bryant has already said that his days playing for USA are over after he won a gold medal at the London Olympics. His contract ends just before the Rio Olympics starts.
Via USA Today:
“It’s not going to happen,” Bryant said when asked if the temptation to change teams might still grow from here. “It’s not going to happen. You go through the good times, you’ve got to go through the bad times.”
“It’s not going to happen,” he continued after finishing with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Hornets,. “I have a no-trade clause. (Lakers governor) Jeanie (Buss) and (Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations) Jimmie (Buss) aren’t sending me anywhere.”
“Nah, not really,” he said with a grin and a shake of the head when asked if he can envision playing beyond his current contract. “But I’m so loyal to this organization, there’s not a chance (of him leaving)…I’ve been really fortunate to win a lot of games here, a lot of championships here. You can’t (expletive) with (that).”
CUBAN NO LONGER DISLIKES D-WADE
After Miami’s 2006 NBA triumph, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wasn’t really the Finals MVP Dwayne Wade’s biggest fan at the time.
That has now changed. Cuban still dislikes the Heat, but his grudge with Wade is over.
Via Dallas Morning News:
“Not anymore,” Cuban said when asked if he dislikes Wade. “At the beginning, I did because I think he thought he was entitled to everything that happened in that (2006) series. But it’s been eight years. I mean, I take a little bit of joy in games where he doesn’t go to the free throw line. But I like D-Wade now. He’s a guy who does a lot of good things off the court and I have to respect that.
“But if you’d have asked me eight years ago, it would have been a different answer. There was a time I did a commercial and he was there. He walked out of the room so I wouldn’t see him. I walked out a different door so I wouldn’t have to talk to him.”
“I give him credit off the court,” he said. “He’s gone from flash to being a good representative of the NBA. I respect that. He seems to be more about family and community. He went through some off-the-court hardships, I guess. But yeah, I have a lot of respect for him now. I think he and LeBron [James] helped each other grow up. I don’t hold a lot of animosity at all.”
LOVE TO OPT OUT AND JOIN THE LAKERS?
We head back to Hollywood following our mini detour to Dallas. Quite an interesting piece here. Read on…
Via Lakers Nation:
It’s not going to get as much discussion during the season, but one of the biggest issues for the Cavs is that both LeBron James and Kevin Love own opt outs after this season.
LeBron James basically cannot afford to go anywhere after his return to Cleveland. But watch out for Love. Indications are he will seriously consider the opt out and has his eyes on a return to Los Angeles, where he attended college and where the Lakers long have had him on their free agent wish list …
Love attended UCLA and has always had rumours circulating about a future move to Hollywood. But this before he has gotten his toes wet in Cleveland? Wow.