Trae Young is hoping to become a different animal yet the same beast.
Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the Atlanta Hawks guard plans to work on his midrange game with retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant in August. The sessions are scheduled to take place in Newport Beach, Calif. after Young completes his Team USA training camp obligations.
The 20-year-old Young was runner-up to the Rookie of the Year Award last season after averaging 19.1 points and 8.1 assists per game. However, he relied primarily on pulling up from the three-point line or trying to get all the way to the rim, which was reflected in his 41.8 percent shooting from the field and 32.4 percent from deep.
Bryant, a cold killer from the midpost area during his career with some of the best footwork the game had ever seen, would obviously be an ideal sensei for Young to learn the art of the midrange from. That said though, there was some controversy with the last youngster that the Black Mamba tutored.
Giannis Antetokounmpo barely had finished his acceptance speech for winning this year’s NBA MVP Award when Kobe Bryant issued his next challenge to the Milwaukee Bucks star.
In 2017, Antetokounmpo won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. On Monday, he took home the league’s highest individual honor, beating out finalists James Harden and Paul George for MVP.
With that accomplishment achieved, Bryant said next on the list for Antetokounmpo is an NBA championship, something Bryant knows his fair share about.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) June 25, 2019
Antetokounmpo stepped up and answered Bryant’s first challenge this past season, two years after it was first issued by the Mamba, who helps train Giannis.
Falling short in the Eastern Conference Finals should make the Milwaukee Bucks star even more motivated to come finish what he started. That could be a scary proposition for the rest of the NBA.
Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa welcomed their fourth daughter into the world this week, and the latest member of the Bryant clan shares a name with her dad.
Vanessa Bryant announced on Instagram Friday that Capri Kobe Bryant was born the day before.
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“Our baby girl is here!!!! Capri Kobe Bryant. So thankful for our newest baby blessing. 6/20/19,” Vanessa wrote.
Kobe and Vanessa have four kids together, and all four are girls. They are apparently open to trying for a fifth child in hopes of having a boy, but one of Kobe’s daughter can already give the future Hall of Famer a run for his money on the basketball court. Retirement is treating Kobe well so far.
Video has emerged proving Rob Pelinka lied about a story he shared regarding an alleged meeting between Kobe Bryant and Heath Ledger.
ESPN on Tuesday published a long-awaited look into the Los Angeles Lakers franchise by writer Baxter Holmes. The article details some of the negative experiences staffers had working under Pelinka and Magic Johnson, including allegations of employees suffering panic attacks due to their experiences with Johnson.
But the anecdote shared by Holmes that has really taken off is one about Pelinka, Kobe, Ledger, and “The Dark Knight.”
The Lakers had The Rock speak at their “Genius Series.” Pelinka shared a story of how Kobe had seen “The Dark Knight” and was so inspired by his performance and the way he got into character, he requested to meet with Ledger to find out how the actor locked into the role. Pelinka says the two did meet.
Here is video of Pelinka sharing the story:
There's video of Pelinka telling the Kobe-Ledger story. How come someone blatantly lie like that? pic.twitter.com/hsh1u8wwp7
— John Ledesma (@JohnnyNBA) May 28, 2019
The problem is the movie was released in July 2008, six months after Ledger’s death. Holmes reported that no dinner described by Pelinka ever took place.
Kobe reportedly was livid that his name got included in the Lakers drama.
There has to be some detail that Pelinka was exaggerating or left out. No way he could just so blatantly lie. Maybe Kobe wanted to meet with Ledger and was inspired by the performance, but the meeting part was made up? Something has to be missing.
Kobe Bryant may not have any children who will be eligible to play in the NBA one day, but you didn’t expect The Black Mamba to procreate without producing at least one baller, did you?
Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna has clearly been putting in work on the court with her dad. Check out her highlight video:
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 20, 2019
That step-back three-pointer at the 11-second mark was money.
Kobe and his wife Vanessa have three daughters with a fourth on the way, and the rumor is they’re going to give it one more go in hopes of having a boy. Either way, the Los Angeles Lakers legend clearly has at least one kid who can keep up with him on the basketball court.
The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have a rivalry that dates back several decades, and Kobe Bryant was part of that when the two teams played each other twice in the NBA Finals during his career. That’s why it was a bit strange when Bryant seemed committed to helping the Celtics during the offseason, but now we know what really may have been going on.
The Black Mamba was sabotaging his team’s No. 1 enemy.
Fine, that probably didn’t happen, but it is still fair to wonder if Kobe’s influence had a negative impact on the 2018-19 Celtics. For starters, Jayson Tatum has openly said he idolized Bryant growing up, and he got a chance to train with him over the summer. When asked back in September what advice Kobe gave him during that time, Tatum told Clay Skipper of GQ that it was quite simple.
“Shoot every time,” he recalled Kobe telling him. “Pass if you have to. But if not, shoot it.”
After breaking out in the playoffs last year, many expected Tatum to become a bonafide superstar in his second NBA season. Instead, he regressed. While he averaged 15.7 points per game compared to 13.9 in his rookie year, his shot selection was poor for much of the season. His field goal percentage dropped from 47.5 to 45.0 percent, and that was hardly a coincidence.
Tatum made a habit of taking long two-point shots this season, which of course was a staple of Kobe’s game during his Hall of Fame career. Brad Stevens’ system does not cater to isolation plays like that, however, and Tatum often tried to make things happen with iso plays and failed miserably.
Of course, you could also argue that the big difference for Tatum in last year’s playoffs and this past season was the presence of Kyrie Irving. Kobe may have helped make that an issue, too. Many believe Irving ruined Boston’s chemistry this season by criticizing his younger teammates, who were one win away from the NBA Finals last year without him. Like Tatum, Irving grew up watching Kobe and trying to mimic his game. That is likely where he got the ideas for his leadership style.
Back in February, Joe Vardon of The Athletic revealed that Bryant once told Irving that LeBron James was not cut out to be the “lightning rod” — also described by Vardon as the “conflict creator” — for the Cleveland Cavaliers the way Kobe was with the Lakers. Kobe felt Irving could be that guy, and Kyrie agreed. When that relationship was explained to several Celtics players, they admitted it may have something to do with the way Irving was trying to push his teammates and coaches.
“I mean, he loves Kobe, Kobe said that, he agreed — it kind of does make sense,” Celtics point guard Terry Rozier said. “If (Irving and Bryant) agreed on that, that’s something that you can really look at, but I don’t know if he really wakes up every morning telling himself that he wants to cause conflict or cause problems.”
At the time, Irving was playing the best basketball of his career. The playoffs were a much different story, and it has become clear that Kyrie may have destroyed the chemistry in the Celtics’ locker room this season. That leadership style obviously worked for Kobe, but we already explained why Irving is not on that level.
So there you go, Lakers fans. Even in retirement, Kobe is still finding a way to beat the Celtics.
You won’t hear any opposition from Kobe Bryant when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of Anthony Davis.
Bryant spoke with Spanish outlet AS for an interview that was published on Friday as part of his role as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In one of the questions, he was asked about the Lakers’ trade pursuit of Davis. Bryant said that Davis is one of the best NBA players in history and worth trading several young players for.
Here was his answer to a question about the team trying to trade for Davis (via Google Translate and Showtime Forum).
“Kuzma, Lonzo, Ingram … Are all three better than Anthony Davis? No no!. Ciao! Bye! Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. Not from now, from history. What are we talking about? If you can sign Anthony Davis, you do it. If not, agree. We have three players who are very young and who work hard. They are intelligent and must be developed. But if you can sign Anthony Davis … yes!”
.@kobebryant was asked if the AD affair could mislead the LAL & the players:
— ShowtimeForum (@ShowtimeForum) March 19, 2019
This sort of attitude from Bryant should not be the least bit surprising. Recall that several years ago he was asked about the Lakers’ pursuit of Jason Kidd. Some in the front office did not want to trade Andrew Bynum for Kidd, whereas Kobe said on video the Lakers should “ship his a– out” regarding Bynum, if it meant getting Kidd.
Kobe won three championships with Shaq and demanded a trade unless the Lakers upgraded their roster, which they did by adding Pau Gasol, leading to two more titles. He knows as well as anyone how important it is to have star players if you want to win a championship.
H/T Showtime Forum
- Kobe Bryant