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Pacific Notes: Bryant, Weems, Moreland

Jim Buss, Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations, doesn’t regret signing Kobe Bryant to a two-year, $48.5MM extension back in 2013, regardless of how Bryant’s tenure with the franchise ends, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. “You give Kobe Bryant $50MM for two years,” Buss told Amick. “Are you kidding me? What did he bring us? In this day and age, what did he bring us, for 20 years? And if that isn’t what you’re supposed to do, then I have no idea what life is all about. You pay the guy. You believe in the guy. If he ends up [staying healthy], that’s fantastic. Well everybody [in the media] cut me up for that, but I’d say over 200 fans have come up to me and said, ‘Thank you so much for letting my kid see Kobe Bryant for two more years.’ And I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m glad I can see him for two more years.’

Buss also took the time to refute a report by Henry Abbott of ESPN which indicated that the organization was anxious for Bryant to depart so it could begin rebuilding in earnest, Amick adds. “It’s [expletive], that’s exactly what that was,” Buss said when asked about the article. “The organization absolutely loves him. You know why? Because he has made a living, as we [have] with the Lakers for the last 20 years, because of this man. Magic Johnson carried us [to] this part [of their history] … and Kobe Bryant has carried us for 20 years. So every person that works in that organization, why would they hate him? Why would they want him out of there? There’s only a basketball or a Kobe hater that would want that. There’s no other reason.

Here’s more out of the Pacific:

  • Sonny Weems has impressed the Suns‘ coaching staff with his playmaking ability, a part of his game that Weems credits his time playing overseas for developing, writes Matt Petersen of “When I first went over there [Europe], I was just the guy they got to score,” Weems said. “I paid attention over there instead of just going over there to play basketball. I learned a few things watching the European guards over there. It’s kind of a thing I picked up these last two or three years when I was in Russia. It just stuck with me.
  • Power forward Eric Moreland is fighting long odds to secure a regular season roster spot with the Kings, but the level of hustle and energy he has exhibited has impressed coaches and may help him stick with the team, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Coach George Karl indicated Moreland deserves a roster spot on opening night, Jones adds. “It’s going to be difficult to get minutes between Cuz [DeMarcus Cousins], Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein when you want to play forward,” Karl said. “But I think he’s a good insurance policy. I think he and Quincy Acy both will serve as insurance policies and there may be situations where he can get on the court.
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One thought on “Pacific Notes: Bryant, Weems, Moreland

  1. Chuck Myron

    I’m curious to see what Sonny Weems is going to do with the Suns this year. He was out of the league for a long time, and I’m sure his game has indeed changed.

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