Febuary 3rd: Bryant keeping confidence up. Lakers @ the Bobcats 4:30 PST (5:30, Ch. 9). Turiaf a week for being able to play. Lakers shamed by Charlotte.

 
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Phil
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:28 am    Post subject: Febuary 3rd: Bryant keeping confidence up. Lakers @ the Bobcats 4:30 PST (5:30, Ch. 9). Turiaf a week for being able to play. Lakers shamed by Charlotte.

Bryant keeping confidence up

By KEVIN DING
The Orange County Register

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Whatever complex psychological dominoes fell to create the competitive inferno that blazes in Kobe Bryant, it exists as a simple thing for him and the Lakers to have and use.

Far more complicated is figuring out how to pass it to his teammates. But Bryant said Thursday the debacle in Indiana on Wednesday was an exception to the overall growth that is taking place.

"I think I've been doing pretty good," Bryant said of sparking teammates' competitiveness. "(Against Indiana) it was a tough game for them, but I think overall I've been doing a pretty good job. We've been winning a lot of games. It's just a matter of getting down that execution, what Phil (Jackson) preaches and what he teaches.

"We have guys on this team who want to play hard and want to do the right thing and want to win. It's just a matter of us getting down that execution, where it becomes instinctual. And that takes a little time."

Jackson sat his team through a film session Thursday lasting more than two hours. There was more emphasis on defense but some on offense, too. Jackson summed it up as: "We've got to help each other out a little bit."


Last edited by Phil on Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:30 am    Post subject:

Bryant a Favorite for All-Star Game
By Mike Bresnahan, Times Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kobe Bryant was selected to the NBA All-Star game for an eighth consecutive season, receiving 450,000 more votes than he did last season.

Bryant, the fifth-leading vote-getter last season, had 2.27 million votes and finished second behind Houston center Yao Ming, who had 2.34 million votes.


Bryant, averaging a league-best 35.7 points, had 1.82 million votes last season. Other starters voted to the Western Conference team were San Antonio forward Tim Duncan, Phoenix guard Steve Nash and Houston forward Tracy McGrady.

Miami center Shaquille O'Neal had 2.19 million votes and was voted a starter in the East, along with Cleveland forward LeBron James, Philadelphia guard Allen Iverson, Miami guard Dwyane Wade and injured Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal.

Clipper forward Elton Brand had only 442,056 votes and was eighth among West forwards, but he is expected to make the team as a reserve. Clipper center Chris Kaman was seventh among West centers and Sam Cassell was 10th among West guards.

Laker center Chris Mihm was fourth among West centers.

The All-Star game is Feb. 19 in Houston.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:31 am    Post subject:

Rib injury could keep Odom out
By Ross Siler, Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom was struggling just to lift his arms Thursday and said the rib injury he suffered likely would keep him out of tonight's game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Odom suffered what the team called a sprained rib, damaging the cartilage between several ribs on the upper right side of his chest. The discomfort kept Odom up all night after the Lakers flew in from Indiana.

"This hurt more than my torn labrum," Odom said, comparing it to his season-ending shoulder injury from last March. "But hopefully it won't last that long."

It would be the first game all season Odom has missed. He also noted Thursday that rib injuries can take some time to heal.

Odom was injured when he was caught between Indiana's Jeff Foster and David Harrison fighting for a loose ball with 7:22 left in the third quarter of Wednesday night's game. The collision left Odom suffering some after-effects similar to whiplash.

What Odom's absence would mean for the Lakers is unclear. Coach Phil Jackson could start either guard Sasha Vujacic or forward Devean George, with Kobe Bryant moving from the wing to Odom's spot in the backcourt if George is the choice.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:33 am    Post subject:

Notebook: Odom doubtful

12:06 AM PST on Friday, February 3, 2006

Broderick Turner

CHARLOTTE - Lamar Odom, still feeling the stinging pain of sprained cartilage between his ribs, said he "doubts" he will be able to play tonight against the Bobcats.

Odom was unable to practice Thursday, bothered by his right side after injuring himself Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers.

Odom, who had surgery over the summer to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, claimed this injury is more painful.

"Hopefully I miss just one game," he said. "I can't even lift my arms. I didn't even sleep last night...

"You just got to let them heal on their own. You can't put a cast on your ribs."

Odom collided with Indiana's Jeff Foster and David Harrison chasing a rebound. Coach Phil Jackson described the collision as a "whip-lashed action."

"It wasn't a car crash, but it was close," Jackson said.

Odom was injured midway through the third quarter but came back to play because "adrenaline can fool the body and it can fool your mind, too."

If Odom doesn't play, Sasha Vujacic or Devean George likely will start against Charlotte, which has lost 13 straight.

Kobe Bryant said the Lakers need Odom to be healthy because "he does a lot as far as facilitating our offense and rebounding the ball; he does a lot on the boards for us, too."
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject:

Dedes a 'hidden gem' in radio booth
Fordham alum a throwback
Tom Hoffarth, Columnist

The encounter was brief, maybe 10 minutes tops. For Spero Dedes, it'll have a long-lasting effect.

Dedes had just been hired by the Lakers to be their new radio play-by-play man. After finally moving all his stuff from New Jersey to L.A., and still a bit disoriented in his new surroundings, he was invited to the Dodger Stadium press box by veteran statistician Doug Mann for a mid-September game.

The purpose was for Dedes, Fordham University class of 2001, to finally meet Vin Scully, Fordham University class of 1949.

"That was just amazing," Dedes recalled the other day, resting up in an Indianapolis hotel before going out to do another game on the Lakers' current extended road trip. "Of course, I knew all about him. He's all you ever hear about at Fordham.

"He puts his arm on my shoulder, tells me about how it was for him to make this move about 50 years ago, about how you have to avoid all the distractions of L.A., to listen to tapes of your work and the importance of self-evaluation.

"If all he did was shake my hand and give me a smile, that would have been great. We ended up taking a picture together and he autographed it for me. It's the only picture I have up in my bedroom right now."
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject:

Bobcats face Kobe question
Charlotte's 2 ex-Lakers say shut down Bryant, let others beat you
RICK BONNELL
rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com

Victory? That's a distant memory for the Charlotte Bobcats.

It's been 13 games, 24 days and a half-dozen injuries since the Bobcats last outscored an opponent.

So perhaps the goal tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers should be to avoid embarrassment. If Kobe Bryant can score 81 against the Toronto Raptors, he certainly can pick apart the NBA's worst team.

We asked two ex-Lakers/now-Bobcats -- Jumaine Jones and Kareem Rush -- how best to avoid being Kobe-fied. Both said it's essential to deny him the ball whenever possible.

"I think you try to trap him," Jones said. "You've got to get the ball out of his hands and try not to let him get it back."

To which Rush added, "You've got to trap, to force all the other guys to try to beat you. A Smush Parker or a Chris Mihm scoring 25, you can take that over letting Kobe get 45."
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject:


IN MY OPINION | IS KOBE GOOD FOR THE NBA?
No: Selfish Kobe takes team concept out of hoops


Give Kobe this. The man plays defense.

You know why he plays defense? He plays defense so he can get the ball back and jack up another 22-footer over the two guys guarding him.

Kobe is the only player in the NBA who is selfish even when the other team has the ball.

Anybody who believes Bryant is good for the NBA has given up on the NBA.

The league still is a team game, as fans in San Antonio and Denver and Dallas will attest.

If you need proof, leave the Super Bowl festivities in downtown Detroit and drive 40 minutes to the Palace of Auburn Hills.

This is where the NBA runner-up Detroit Pistons play. The Pistons have several players capable of taking over a game, and those players do. But they take turns. One night it's the point guard, another night it's the shooting guard. It can be a big forward, a small forward, a center or even a reserve.

The players understand their role might be limited to hustling and rebounding, playing defense and giving up the ball. They have learned to ignore the sycophant friends who tell them they aren't shooting enough and submerge their splendid individual skills into something greater, such as a potential championship. That's the dynamic they have created.

Los Angeles has a different dynamic. Get rid of every teammate who will compete with Kobe for shots and headlines, and get Bryant a scoring championship. Of course the man leads the NBA in scoring. He also leads the league in field goal attempts. In the time it took you to read the first nine paragraphs of this column, Kobe shot four times.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject:

LANGSTON WERTZ JR.
Yes: Kobe sells tickets, jerseys, pumps up TV ratings


Kobe Bean Bryant is the NBA's love-him-or-hate-him guy. It doesn't matter how you feel about him or whether you like the Lakers; you want to watch him play. The ratings-starved NBA needs a player like that.

So, is Kobe bad for the league?

I guess that's what New York Knicks fans were thinking Tuesday when they screamed "MVP! MVP!" after Kobe led the Lakers to a 33-point win against their team. Visiting players who are bad for the league don't get standing ovations at Madison Square.

Thankfully, Commissioner David Stern doesn't think Kobe is bad for business. The NBA is selling "Kobe 81" jerseys -- commemorating his 81-point scoring outburst last month -- for $160 at the NBA Store and online for $60.

But, I must admit, it is still easy for some to dislike Kobe.

His jersey sales have dropped from first in 2003 to fifth today, and he's brought some of it on himself, with behavior that led to his sexual assault trial in Colorado. He could try being warmer. He could try to emulate Michael Jordan less. He could pass the ball a little more.

In his past two games, Kobe was 15-for-41 from the field. For the year, he is shooting 44 percent and has taken 1,173 shots. That's 667 more than anyone else on his team. But I understand why Kobe keeps shooting: Other than Lamar Odom, who looks like an all-star at times, the Lakers don't have anyone who scares you offensively.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:24 am    Post subject:

Bobcats host Kobe, Lakers

Charlotte continued its miserable run on Wednesday as Raymond Felton scored 20 points, while Brevin Knight paced the offense with 19 points and 10 assists for the Bobcats, who have lost 17 of 18 and have not won since topping the Houston Rockets back on January 10.

Jumaine Jones netted 13 points, Melvin Ely had 11 and Matt Carroll added 10 points for Charlotte, which has lost six in a row at home.

With forwards Emeka Okafor (ankle), Gerald Wallace (knee) and Sean May (knee), already sidelined, the Bobcats could be without another player up front this evening, as Bernard Robinson (ankle) missed practice
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject:

Lakers' Lamar Odom Out With Sprained Rib

The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom sat out Friday night's game against the Charlotte Bobcats with a sprained rib.

It's the first game Odom has missed this season. He was injured on Wednesday against Indiana while fighting for a loose ball between two defenders. He's struggled to lift his arms since he was hurt.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject:

Charlotte 112, LA Lakers 102-Box Score
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:52 pm    Post subject:

Bobcats Beat Lakers for First Time

By JENNA FRYER
The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Jumaine Jones swears there was nothing personal about his career night against the Los Angeles Lakers. If there was any doubt, he erased it by taking a bag of gear into his former team's locker room for Kobe Bryant to sign for him.

Jones, traded from Los Angeles to Charlotte in late October, scored a career-high 31 points to help the Bobcats snap their franchise-record, 13-game losing streak on Friday night with a 112-102 shocker over the Lakers.

"It's definitely a big deal that I had a good game against the team that traded me," Jones said. "But we had a 13-game losing streak. I just wanted to get a win. That means more to me than anything."

Jones then headed over to see Bryant, who stopped his postgame interviews to praise his former teammate.

"That's my guy," Bryant gushed before exchanging hugs with Jones and giving him an autographed pair of his game shoes. "I hated to see him go. That's my man. I love him."

Jones played the entire game as if he was trying to show Los Angeles what it let get away. He made all six of his shots in the first quarter to help the Bobcats open a 40-25 lead they never relinquished.

He shot 13-of-20, made five 3-pointers, and had nine rebounds to pace Charlotte.
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