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Kobe Bryant has a piano in the shape of his signature logo

kobe-9-elite-frontOne of the good things about being Kobe Bryant is you have access to things many people can only dream of. This includes cars, houses, and helicopters to name a few. You can add signature kicks to the list as well.

The latest edition of Bryant’s shoe, the Kobe 9 Elite, hit stores last month. As usual, the signature logo is highly visible.

Speaking of Kobe’s logo, he showed off a piano that’s in the shape of it.

I mean, “crescendo of domination” has to be the most Kobe Bryant phrase ever, right?

Phil Jackson: Shaq played ‘clown role,’ which led to rift with Kobe Bryant

Robert-Horry-Phil-Jackson-Started-Shaq-Kobe-FeudThe relationship between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal deteriorated quickly after the Los Angeles Lakers won three-straight championships at the turn of the century. There are a variety of reasons that happened, and it’s always a bonus when we get to hear Phil Jackson’s take on the subject.

While speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, Jackson said that Shaq’s work ethic and lack of commitment ultimately led to the downfall between him and Kobe.

“Shaq didn’t work at it,” Jackson said. “It was too easy. He was too big and it was too easy for him. He had his clown role that he had to play. That’s a wonderful role for him.

“I think the wedge between (Shaq and Kobe) was when Shaq opted not to get an operation until right before the season when he could have had it right after the season. That resulted in not allowing us to win four (championships) in a row in Kobe’s mind.”

The surgery Jackson was referring to happened in 2002, when Shaq waited until just before training camp to have surgery on his injured toe. His explanation was that he got hurt on company time so he would rather heal on company time. Jackson said that Kobe was more like Michael Jordan with the way he worked, so he clashed with Shaq.

“Michael Jordan was a tremendous player who overcame a lot of deficiencies in his game,” Jackson said. “He couldn’t play defense. He couldn’t hit an outside shot. All of those things disappeared with his work ethic. Kobe saw that as a pinnacle that he had to reach and went beyond that, actually.”

Some people believe Jackson is the one who started the rift between Shaq and Kobe, though the things the two stars have said publicly make that seem unlikely. Have you seen Shaq’s Buick commercials and his analysis on TNT? We all know he loves to mess around. I’m sure that got old for Kobe, who was chasing MJ’s legacy.

Video via CBS Los Angeles

Metta World Peace: Carmelo Anthony needs to be more like Kobe Bryant

Carmelo AnthonyMetta World Peace was waived by the New York Knicks on Monday after appearing in just 29 games. In his short time in New York, World Peace had a first-hand look at one of the biggest disasters in the NBA.

The Knicks, who many thought had a chance to be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, are 21-36 and rapidly sliding out of playoff contention. Carmelo Anthony has not been able to prevent New York from losing nine of its last 11 games. If he was more like Kobe Bryant, World Peace thinks ‘Melo would have a better shot.

“Kobe doesn’t give a (bleep), he just wants to win,” Metta told the NY Daily News. “Melo needs to be more demanding and he needs to see results. The only difference between him and Kobe is that Kobe saw results. When Kobe said something people did that (stuff). Carmelo has no choice but to make it his personality because he’s a great player. There are not too many guys like him.”

Anthony, who can opt out of his contract at the end of the season, has done his best to not be a distraction. He has said all the right things publicly and refused to blame head coach Mike Woodson for the team’s struggles. World Peace described him as a great teammate, but he has a point about Anthony’s leadership skills.

Talent wise, Carmelo is probably one of the top 10 players in the NBA. If he carried himself like Kobe or LeBron James, the Knicks might play with more passion. They need that and then some.

Kobe Bryant ‘not cool’ with Lakers trading Steve Blake

Kobe Bryant Steve BlakeThe Lakers made it pretty clear that they are rebuilding and aiming for the best draft pick possible when they traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.

Blake wasn’t with the Lakers long enough to really become a total fan favorite, but his departure didn’t sit well with Kobe Bryant, who tweeted the following on Thursday:

Blake’s tenure with the Lakers was marred by several injuries, but he was making nearly two 3-pointers per game for the Lakers and has been a good outside shooter for the team.

How can you really fault the Lakers for making the trade? The only thing that surprises me is that they didn’t deal Jordan Hill too. Kobe might not be cool with the deal, but he’ll probably be more cool with Mitch Kupchak improving the team instead of allowing them to remain a middling contender. You can’t have it both ways, though I understand why it might be hard for Kobe to lose a friend on the team.

Kobe Bryant: Pau Gasol threw his shoes in locker room during tantrum

Pau Gasol LakersKobe Bryant says Pau Gasol was so unhappy with his team for their poor performance in a 114-105 loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday night that the Spanish forward threw his shoes during a postgame tantrum in the locker room.

Bryant shared the information with reporters on Sunday prior to the Lakers’ 110-103 loss to the New York Knicks.

Bryant says he loved the fire from Gasol.

“That was the most irritated I’ve seen Pau in a long, long time,” Bryant said via the Los Angeles Times. “I haven’t really seen him come in and have a tantrum in the locker room, which is good. It’s something that needs to be done.

“It can’t be something where we’re losing and it becomes accepted. Or the whole ‘We gave it a good effort’ sort of thing. We don’t do that around here. That’s not what it’s about. It’s not about giving good effort. It’s about winning championships.”

Nobody will confuse this Lakers squad for a championship team. They have lost four in a row and 15 of 18. Everyone knows that they are one of the worst teams in the league — especially with Kobe out — but that doesn’t mean Pau has to accept the losing. He should always remain passionate about the team, regardless of how bad they may be.

Or maybe we all really have the story wrong, and the real reason Pau was upset was because he couldn’t find his European Men’s Carryall in his locker.

Pau Gasol purse

Kobe Bryant told Michael Jordan ‘I could kick your ass one-on-one’

Kobe Bryant Michael JordanPhil Jackson made an appearance on FOX Sports Live on Wednesday and discussed a lot of the stuff that basketball fans love hearing about. Like, for example, the time Kobe Bryant told Michael Jordan he could kick his ass in a game of one-on-one.

The former Los Angeles Lakers coach said Jordan had been retired for a year and came to a Lakers game. Jackson asked Jordan if he would meet in the chairman’s room after the game to chat with Kobe. Jackson said he wanted MJ to teach Kobe a little bit about patience. But as we know, nobody has to give Kobe a lesson in being confident.

“First thing Kobe says is, ‘I could kick your ass one-on-one,” Jackson recalled.

Kobe was 21 at the time and Jordan was 36. I suppose it’s possible that Kobe could beat a rusty MJ, but Jackson said he would take Jordan in a one-on-one game is both players were in their prime.

“It’s gotta be MJ,” he said. “When a guy can pick the ball up with one hand while he’s dribbling like Michael could do and take the ball to the basket, it’s very difficult.”

Ironically enough, Jordan actually said last year that he could beat LeBron James one-on-one but isn’t sure about Kobe. The reason? Kobe steals all his moves and models his game after MJ’s. It’s a fun debate that will never be settled but will always be discussed.

Kobe Bryant jokingly takes shot at Pau Gasol while confirming he will sit out 2016 Olympics

Kobe-Bryant-Paul-Gasol-Trade-RumorsKobe Bryant has battled several unfortunate injuries over the past year, so it comes as no surprise that he has likely participated in his last Olympic Games. On Monday, Kobe confirmed that he would not be competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, though he said he would attend the Games as a spectator.

Bryant, who is recovering from a knee injury that he suffered shortly after making his return from rehabbing an Achilles injury, took the opportunity to rip on Pau Gasol while he was speaking to reporters.

Burn. Gasol’s native country of Spain took home the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Olympics in 2012. Kobe and the Americans won gold both years.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, an assistant coach for Team USA, said on Monday that he plans on trying to convince Bryant to change his mind about Rio. Kobe said he would welcome the flattery.

“He can try all he wants,” Bryant said, via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation. “I love Tibs. That conversation with him would be more than welcome.”

In reality, Kobe is having enough trouble staying healthy during the grueling NBA schedule. Competing in the Olympics near the time of his 38th birthday would probably not be wise.

H/T SI Wire