Monday, February 18, 2013

Kobe Bryant passed on a trade to join the Pistons in 2007

According to a report by’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kobe Bryant was very close to becoming a Detroit Piston back in 2007.

At the time the Los Angeles Lakers were a mess and Kobe was on one of his get me out of here rants. The late Jerry Buss had a meeting with Bryant at Buss' home and was informed that a deal was on the table.

Bryant would have had to waive his no trade clause and Detroit wasn't on his list of destinations. The reported deal would've had Tayshaun Prince, Amir Johnson, Richard Hamilton, and a first round pick going to Los Angeles for Bryant. The Pistons denied the rumors at the time.

Bryant says that he wouldn't have left the Lakers for anywhere.

“It hit me that I didn’t really want to walk out on Dr. Buss,” Bryant said Monday, adding it probably wouldn’t have mattered if it was Chicago, Dallas or New York either.  

It would've been interesting, but I don't think Bryant would've stayed in Detroit too long. Not a knock on the city, but I just couldn't see Bryant meshing well with what the team had at the time. Also what would have Bryant done once he hit free agency?

We can play the 'what if' game with that scenario.  

Oakley says LeBron can do more than Jordan

Former NBA enforcer, Charles Oakley, hasn't been the biggest fan of today's NBA. He'll blast it any chance he gets. Oakley isn't afraid to speak his mind on anything regarding the NBA. But there's one thing he has done. He's changed his tune on how he views LeBron James. This comes on the heels of the Michael Jordan/James debate where Jordan questioned whether James would be successful in the era that he played in.

Back in 2011, Oakley was critical of James. Not as a player, but his a few aspects of his game.

"I wouldn't put [James and Jordan] in the same conversation."

"It took a while for Michael to win championships too, but they have a different swagger, a different demeanor. If I would compare anybody to Michael Jordan, it would be Kobe Bryant. Point blank. I know LeBron well; he don't have what Michael have so I'm not even gonna discuss that one." 

"To be a superstar [LeBron] has to go back to his fundamentals… work on his post game, work off the ball."

Oakley never said he didn't like the guy, he just said he needed to work on a few things to reach a higher level, if that's possible. If you look at James' game now, you see that he worked on a few things and it resulted in a championship. Oakley has taken notice of the changes in King James' game and went on to say that James can do more on the court than the great Michael Jordan.

“I appreciate him as a person, a mindset out on the court to perfect the game,” Oakley said of James. “Everybody’s criticizing him about this, about that, and he lets his game get better every year, and he got smarter every year, no matter what no one said. He let his game grow with him. The man is the best player, ain’t never gonna be a player like that. He’s going to go down as a top three player in the history of basketball.”

“He might not have had a lot of big numbers, but he would have made it,” Oakley said. “If you can get 26 (points) instead of 27, it’s the same thing. But he’s a guy you want to play with, no matter level what he played. If he played 40 years ago, he understands basketball. He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve seen in this game, probably go down as one of the smartest guys. He dictates offense, defense, he can do it all.”

“It’s a different debate,” Oakley said. “I ask everybody, who’s the best between Magic and LeBron? Everyone says Michael’s greatest. But, OK, well, we’ll give him his props. But LeBron is a better athlete, and he can do more than Michael on the basketball court. Michael is finisher, a great shooter, and it is what it is.”

Say what you will, but it's difficult to argue Oakley's point. James is too multi skilled to not have been a successful player in yesteryear's game. He might not have dominated like he does now, but who in the league had James' skill set with his kind of size and strength. Not many that I can think of right off the top of my head.

I'm not going to get into the Jordan/LeBron debate. They're both great players that played in different eras. You can't really compare the two. But to most, in order to get into Jordan' stratosphere, James will need to win some more championships. Until then most will not put James in Jordan's class.  

Jazz assistant Sidney Lowe arrested for not paying taxes

Current Utah Jazz assistant coach and former North Carolina State basketball coach Sidney Lowe was arrested for failing to pay North Carolina state taxes in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Lowe, who coached the Wolfpack from 2006-2011, is currently an assistant coach with the NBA's Utah Jazz. At the time of his departure from State, he was making $500,000 per year.

The 53-year-old Lowe faces three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file a North Caroline Individual Income Tax Return and was placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond. A court appearance was scheduled for March 19.

Even though I don't agree with having to pay taxes, it's best to just pay them. The government doesn't mess around when it comes to not paying their money. Just ask Wesley Snipes or any rapper that decided that it wasn't a good idea to report their income.

The Jazz organization has no comment on the matter and are fully aware of Lowe's arrest. More than likely he'll find his way out of this mess and will be back with the team.