Odds & Ends: Kobe, LeBron, Cavs

T.J. Simers of the OC Register writes that Lakers executive Jim Buss believes he has an understanding with Kobe Bryant regarding next summer, in which he’ll let him hit free agency, spend the money accordingly on free agents, and offer whatever’s left to the Lakers’ star afterwards. When Simers asked him to elaborate, Kobe “vaguely” responded: “We’ve probably talked (about it)…but I’m putting off any thought of that.”

In another piece, Kobe spoke with Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times about his inability to mesh with Dwight Howard last season: “We saw different ways of going about leading this team…Dwight wanted to do it one way and he felt like it was effective. I wanted to do it another way. It was constant tension the second half of the season.”

Here are a handful of tonight’s links to pass along from around the Association:

  • LeBron James remained diplomatic when asked if winning a third consecutive ring would provide an answer to whether or not he’ll stay in with the Heat beyond this year: “When that bridge comes, I’ll cross it with my family…And we’re going to make the right choice. We’ve been in this position before, I’ve been in this position before, and I’ll be excited about it, but we’ll see what happens” (Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald).
  • LeBron was also quick to assert that his focus is on the upcoming season, and later emphasized Dwyane Wade‘s health as the key to Miami’s success: “Winning, that’s my only concern right now, winning…I want to put a third ring on the guys that have two. I want to put a first ring on the guys that don’t have any and I want to put a fourth on [Udonis Haslem] and D-Wade. So, that’s my goal…Without (Dwyane), this ship doesn’t continue to move without him, and I hope he knows that,..I think he knows that because he’s a big part of what we do.”
  • Cavaliers coach Mike Brown is still undecided about how he’ll handle the rotation at small forward this season, having been torn between Alonzo Gee and Earl Clark: “Nobody’s really separated themselves drastically from the other guy…One game, one guy’s played pretty good, then another guy’s played pretty good. … I told those guys, it can go into the regular season, just keep yourself ready to go in case your number’s called” (Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer).
  • Steve Nash spoke with Mark Medina of InsideSoCal.com about the challenges of staying healthy at this point in his career.
  • USA Today’s Sam Amick goes over what he’s learned so far after watching the pre-season.
  • Jody Genessy of the Deseret News says that the Jazz’ signing of Jamaal Tinsley makes Lester Hudson and Scott Machado longshots to make the final cut.
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