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Did Kobe Bryant Choose 24 to One-Up Michael Jordan?

It’s been seven seasons since Michael Jordan last played in the NBA, yet the legend remains prevalent in basketball conversations. MJ earned six championships, six Finals MVP awards, and five regular season MVP awards during his 15-year career. He is widely considered the best player in the history of the NBA, and he goes to great lengths to preserve his legacy. That includes cutting down the stars of today’s game.

Jordan has ripped LeBron, said he would school Kobe Bryant, and further disparaged Kobe by only considering him a Top 10 guard in history. It’s no surprise Jordan would be threatened by Bryant who now has won five NBA titles, one short of tying Jordan. It also seems like the rivalry may go two ways.

Four years ago Kobe surprised everyone by announcing he was changing jersey numbers from 8 to 24. The reason for the change remains unclear; speculation has been that he changed to create more jersey sales, and that the 24 reflected Kobe’s 24/7/365 work ethic. Well here’s another theory. Dave McMenamin wrote on ESPN Los Angeles that Kobe may have intentionally chosen 24 because it’s one digit higher than Jordan’s famous 23. I don’t know if that’s true, nor does McMenamin, but it’s just as good of a theory as any other. And you know what? It works.

Kobe has established himself as one of the top players in the game and one of the best players all-time. With five championships in hand, he’s now chasing Michael Jordan. Expect the TV networks to play up that angle the rest of the season. You know that will automatically grab the attention of fans everywhere.

Meet ‘Basketball Wives’ Replacement Ashley Walker, AKA Rafer Alston’s WAG

Ashley Walker, long-time girlfriend of Miami Heat star (and guy kisser) Rafer Alston, will make her reality TV debut on season two of VH1’s Basketball Wives. Despite not being married, or even engaged to Alston, Walker insists that a proposal is coming soon.

“We will be getting married in 2012,” she tells Bossip.com, “but we’re not officially engaged.”

That’s like saying you’re having a baby in eight months but you’re not officially pregnant. One needs to come before the other, that’s how it works. But still, she’s confident that her bond with Alston is deeper than mere matrimony.

“We’ve been together almost five years and lived together for four-and-a-half years, we have a house, we have kids, so, to each his own,” she explains. “A piece of paper doesn’t define our relationship and, in our eyes, we are married.”

So which is it, Ash? Are you getting hitched or not? When will WAGs learn that a house, kids and “commitment in your heart” mean nothing without that all-important pre-nup.

Let’s hope she’ll learn from Eva Longoria’s example—without that ring you have no means of revenge!

Blake Griffin Dunks on Knicks Russian Timofey Mozgov (Video) – Teabags Him!

Knicks center Timofey Mozgov is a 24-year-old rookie center from Russia. He’s only played 14 games and 168 minutes in his young NBA career, but he officially was baptized on Saturday night. Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin went for 44 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Knicks and had several monster slams. His dunk over the 7’1″ 250lb center is a must-see video if there ever was one. Check out the video of Blake Griffin dunking over Knicks center Timofey Mozgov:

That was straight up nuts to the face action. Griffin got up so high he had to throw the ball down through the cylinder from a few feet away. I don’t think I’ve seen a sicker dunk since Vince Carter jumped over the dude in the Olympics. Yeah, the Clippers may have lost that game and are now 1-11, but they won the street cred battle with that dunk. I guess that’s what they call a Russian teabag party?

Phil Jackson and Ben Gordon Agree the Pistons Aren’t Trying

The Detroit Pistons are the definition of an NBA team with all the talent needed to succeed but no drive.  When you see a roster that consists of names like Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Rip Hamilton, and Tracy McGrady, it’s easy to think you’re reading something about the all-star game.  That clearly isn’t the case anymore.

I don’t want to say washed up, because plenty of these guys have a lot of basketball left in them.  For one reason or another, they just don’t seem to gel as a team.  It probably doesn’t help that they are choosing not to try, which has led to a 4-8 record through 12 games.  When Phil Jackson made a comment about the Pistons being a talented team that wasn’t giving any effort, Gordon wasn’t exactly offended.

Yeah, when you get beat by that much and if you get down by that kind of deficit,” Gordon told the Detroit Free Press on Friday. “It seemed like they got whatever they wanted. We allowed them to move the ball around the perimeter easily without much defensive effort, so that’s an accurate statement.”

We appreciate the honesty, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to sell tickets.  The sad part is Detroit has the talent to make the playoffs and the experience to make a run.  That won’t happen if they continue to simply go through the motions and not care about winning.

Chris Bosh Blows Up for 35 Points Against Suns, Wants to Chill

The same day he was mocked in a video by The Basketball Jones that went viral on the internet, forward Chris Bosh had his biggest game since joining the Miami Heat. Bosh had a season-high 35 points, going 12-for-17 from the field and 11-for-11 at the line. It seemed like getting Bosh involved early was part of the Heat’s gameplan as Chris scored the team’s first eight points of the contest and 14 of the squad’s 27 points in the first quarter.

Unfortunately, with the way things are going for Bosh, he can’t seem to do anything right. After the game he was interviewed by ESPN’s Heather Cox and made comments that would leave anybody questioning his motivation, as Mr. Padres Lakers informed us. Here’s how the exchange went:

Heather Cox: Coach Spoelstra said over the last three days it’s been like training camp, really taken you guys back to the beginning. What was the biggest message he sent during those three days of hard practices?

Chris Bosh: The practice — we got back to getting after it again. I guess he felt that he was loosening it up just a little bit too much and he knows that he has to meet us half way. He wants to work, we want to chill, but we’re going to have to work in order to get everything down and get our timing down and get our chemistry down.

The coach wants to work but the players want to chill. You think you would ever hear that coming from the Celtics or Lakers locker room? I can’t even believe some of the stuff that comes out of this guy’s mouth. It seems pretty obvious that he wasn’t ready for the big time. Maybe he’ll be adjusted in a few months, but things have been difficult to start the year.

Photo Credit: Victor Baldizon/NBAE

Tony Parker Reportedly Involved with Erin Barry, Brent Barry’s Soon-to-be Ex-Wife

I guess this is what you call a wife swap. Not long after it was announced Eva Longoria filed for a divorce from Tony Parker we found out about several cheating incidents. One was an incident that supposedly took place early in the couple’s marriage. The larger issue at hand seemed to be that Longoria found hundreds of texts exchanged between Tony and a teammate’s wife. Obviously everyone wondered who the teammate was, and according to Bryan A. Graham it’s former teammate Brent Barry.

Brent played with Parker on the Spurs for four seasons from 2004-2008, a period during which San Antonio won two titles. Barry and his wife Erin are apparently going through a divorce. Here’s a picture of the two couples from Jose3030:

Before you go off saying how crazy and off-the-wall this story is, allow me to remind you of Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson. Now that will blow your mind.

Eva Longoria, Tony Parker Getting Divorce, Parker Caught Texting Spurs Wife?

Regardless of how happy and fulfilled Eva Longoria always seemed to be in her relationship with Tony Parker, who actually thought that their marriage was a good fit? Longoria is a major publicity whore and busy carrying out her acting career. Tony is an NBA player traveling all the time for games. How could that possibly work?

Obviously things didn’t as Longoria filed for divorce in LA citing “irreconcilable differences.” You have to love it because the filing comes a day after a rep denied that Parker had filed for divorce in Texas. That was purely semantics, because if things were going well between the couple then the rep would have outright denied the claim and dismissed the entire notion as false.

The story was big enough for a reporter to ask Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich if the issue would bother Parker, and he responded saying he never has problems getting his players focused. I put much more confidence in Popovich to maintain a locker room than Mike Brown, who reportedly had to deal with another similar situation.

More details came out from US Magazine saying Longoria found hundreds of texts from Tony to and from another woman. People Magazine reports Longoria told her buddy A.C. Slater that she found hundreds of texts from the wife of one of Parker’s San Antonio teammates, who was later identified as Brent Barry’s wife. Additionally, Longoria says Parker cheated early in their marriage and still kept in touch with the woman through Facebook.

Yikes, the Spurs are rolling at 8-1, but you have to wonder if this report will hurt the locker room. I say there’s a fair chance that happens.