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Western Notes: Bryant, Jerrett, Stokes

There has been speculation that Kobe Bryant‘s shoulder injury could mark the end of his career, something that Lakers coach Byron Scott doubts will be the case, Greg Beacham of The Associated Press writes. “He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around as far as dealing with injuries and things like that, and being able to come back,” Scott said. “Everybody said he was done after the Achilles, and he came back pretty strong. Knowing him the way I know him, I know he doesn’t want to go out this way. I think he will rehab it if that’s the case, and then we’ll wait and see.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Thunder have re-assigned Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Blue, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced (Twitter link). This will be Jerrett’s eighth sojourn to the D-League this season. The 21-year-old has only made four NBA appearances thus far this season, and has averaged 1.8 points in 6.0 minutes per contest for the Thunder.
  • Blazers GM Neil Olshey insisted that he won’t rush to make up for the absence of LaMarcus Aldridge, and that any deals the team makes at the trade deadline will be with the playoffs and not the regular season in mind, Grantland’s Zach Lowe notes.
  • Grizzlies rookie Jarnell Stokes is still trying to adjust to not seeing regular minutes after having been the star on every team that he played for prior to arriving in Memphis, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. “It was hard for me at first,” Stokes said of not playing. “The first couple games, even just in the preseason, I was like, ‘Man, I’m going to have to do this all year?’ It was tough. I was coming home just mad and I had to learn that this is the way it’s going to be and that I can learn from this and that God has me in this position for a reason. I’ll have my opportunity [eventually] and I feel like there are some things I can work on now, so I can get better. I’m just working on those things so I’m ready the next time my name is called.” Stokes spoke with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors last August.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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