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Pacific Notes: Kings, Bryant, Clippers

With Andrew Bynum conceding the fact that he is not a sneaker guy while also making demands for the ball late in the game, let's take a look around the rest of the Pacific Division to see what else is going on:

  • The city of Sacramento and the NBA continue to make progress toward reaching a financing deal for a new arena, reports Ryan Lillis of The Sacramento Bee. The topic of discussion for today has been agreeing on what the Maloof family, the owners of the Kings, should be contributing monetarily to the project. While Saturday's talks have extended beyond the expected two hour meeting and delayed a press conference on the arena discussions, USA Today's J. Michael Falgoust reports (via Twitter) that the Kings are going to be asked to provide between $70MM and $90MM to help fund the arena. 
  • After skipping out on Friday's All-Star media availability due to illness, Lakers star Kobe Bryant met with the press on Saturday and discussed Dwight Howard's uncertain future. Bryant conceded that there has been a sense of awkwardness surrounding Howard's situation during All-Star Weekend in Orlando, but also empathized with how he perceives Howard must be feeling, writes Ben Golliver of"He just wants his team [to win]… with players, sometimes there's a certain level of frustration when we don't feel like we're moving in the right direction."
  • The Clippers' trade to acquire All-Star point guard Chris Paul just prior to the start of the season has done wonders for the franchise both on and off the court, says Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. Not only does the team occupy the top spot in the Pacific, the Clippers are also selling out all of their home games, have doubled their regional television ratings and seen merchandise sales sky-rocket since Paul's arrival. 

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