Sitting outside of Staples Center tonight with late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant says that he'll never accept being called the greatest Laker ever from Magic Johnson considering that he learned so much from him. As for his injury timetable, he's not sure if he'll be back by opening night at this point but is trying his best to get ready (ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi via Twitter). Here are the rest of tonight's miscellaneous tidbits from the Western Conference:
- Markazi and ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne relay that Kobe would have picked North Carolina instead of Duke had he not decided to make the jump to the NBA out of high school, and shared that the Clippers feared they wouldn't be taken seriously if they drafted a 17-year-old despite telling him that he'd given them the best workout they've ever had (All Twitter links).
- Flabbergasted that his team was projected to finish 12th in the West this year, Nick Young is "upset and ready for the season," writes Markazi: "How are you going to be ranked that low with Kobe and Pau and Nash? There’s always going to be haters and we just have to keep proving them wrong."
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW thinks that the seventh or eighth-seed will be the best-case scenario for the Mavericks if all goes well this year. Jarret Johnson of the Star-Telegram looks at why there's optimism surrounding the team heading into the season.
- Noting that six general managers around the league have previous ties with the Spurs along with four former coaching assistants now leading teams of their own, Dan McCarney of Spurs Nation describes why San Antonio's structure is a model that many teams want to follow but will find hard to duplicate.
- Timberwolves' president Flip Saunders says that Kevin Love is now 242 lbs after playing last season at 250 (Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press via Twitter).
- Paul Coro of AZ Central tweets a picture of the Suns' new uniforms, which were debuted tonight.