Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio spent the first quarter of the season on the sidelines, giving him plenty of time to keep up on the latest from around the league. On a conference call yesterday, Rubio said that he took special notice of Pau Gasol‘s situation in Los Angeles, according to HoopsHype (on Sulia). “Gasol has given the Lakers a lot and I don’t feel he’s getting enough in return, especially as far as confidence,” Rubio said of his fellow Spaniard. “But he’s a pro. If he goes to another team, I think he would make a contender out of that team. Wherever he goes, he’s going to be fighting for the title.” More on the Lakers and other items out of the Pacific..
- Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d) spoke with a GM, assistant coach, and two scouts who blame Kobe Bryant‘s shooting output for the Lakers‘ woes. The Lakers are just 4-11 when Bryant takes 20 or more shots in a game but are 8-3 when he shoots less than 20 times. It’s a surprising statistic when you consider that Bryant is leading the league in scoring with 29.5 PPG clip while shooting a career-high 47.7 percent from the floor.
- Warriors owner Joe Lacob sat down with Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group to discuss a number of topics, including Stephen Curry‘s four-year, $44MM extension. Lacob explained that there was risk in giving Curry the deal given his ankle problems heading into this season, but the two parties were able to agree on a number that accounted for that risk.
- In part two of his sit down with Kawakami, Lacob explained that even though the club would like to get under the luxury tax threshold this summer, they’re not under any sort of mandate to do so. The Warriors would be willing to pay the penalty if there was an opportunity “to improve the team and to take [it] to a higher level.”
- The Lakers probably wouldn’t have been able to land Steve Nash this summer if Ramon Sessions hadn’t opted out of his $4.55MM player option, GM Mitch Kupchak told Mark Medina of the Press-Telegram. Sessions went on to sign a two-year deal with the Bobcats and says that he’s happy to have a sense of job security with his new team.