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Pacific Notes: Kobe, Clarkson, Jordan, Cauley-Stein

Kobe Bryant isn’t making any definitive statements about whether he’ll retire after this coming season, even though that seems the most likely outcome. It’s also uncertain whether he’ll play in the 2016 Olympics, but USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo said Bryant told him he’d love to “ride off into the sunset” with Team USA next summer, providing he’s still playing well enough to earn a roster spot, observes Dave McMenamin of While we wait to see if Bryant’s storied career has a storybook ending, see more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak envisions D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson in the team’s backcourt for the next 10-12 years, as he recently told SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link), and Clarkson sees that as a challenge to build on his breakout rookie season, as he said to Serena Winters of Lakers Nation. “If Mitch believes in us, we’re definitely trying to make that happen,” Clarkson said. “We’ve got to put our best foot forward if he believes in us like that and continue to work hard and put in great effort. Coach [Byron] Scott ain’t no easy guy to play for, so you’ve got to leave it all on the line when you play for him! So, we’ve just got to work hard and get better everyday and hopefully bring wins to the organization.”
  • DeAndre Jordan knows it’ll take time to heal the wounds that he inflicted on the hearts of the Mavs when he reneged on his agreement to sign with Dallas, but the Clippers center said earlier this week that he’d talked to Chandler Parsons and that they’ll remain cordial, as Ken Berger of notes. Parsons previously called Jordan’s flip-flop “very unethical and disrespectful.” “I understand the whole situation and I’d be a little iffy too,” Jordan said. “But we were friends before and after basketball. It’s something that I don’t think he’s too happy about, but at the same time, it’s basketball and it happened.”
  • No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein has a quirky, one-of-a-kind personality, but Kings assistant coach John Welch lights up when talking about his performance in summer league, and Cauley-Stein tells James Herbert of that Sacramento sees his unique manner as a plus. “The way I see it is, like, it was kind of meant to happen like that because [owner] Vivek [Ranadive] and [executive] Vlade [Divac] love the fact that I’m a bit of an artistic mind and I think outside of the box,” Cauley-Stein said. “They were really intrigued by that. That’s one of the main reasons why they chose me. So it worked out like that.”
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4 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Kobe, Clarkson, Jordan, Cauley-Stein

  1. jeremy

    well i hope they can be the backcourt of the future. if scott can help turn chris paul to the player he today im sure he can make both players at least decent players. he not to bad with big man either. since the nets and pelican were pretty good when they had good big man in k mart and chandler

    • Chuck Myron

      Clarkson has a great story, and he definitely belongs in the NBA. I just don’t think he’s good enough to be the sort of foundational player whom teams should plan on having for decades at a time. I think he’s a fifth starter or a strong backup, but no more than that.

  2. jeremy

    if kobe cant even make it though a season without having a season ending injury what makes you think he can play with team USA. shouldnt he be thinking about helping the lakers and not playing for team usa

    • Chuck Myron

      Agreed, though I don’t think it’s a big focus for him right now. He wasn’t among the players attending this week’s camp in Las Vegas.

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