And-Ones: Alexander, Kobe, Knicks, Sampson

The Warriors invited Joe Alexander to training camp over the offseason already knowing that the small forward was dealing with a serious injury, writes Andrew Matheson of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.  “Joe was always a long term play,” said Kirk Lacob, GM of the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team Alexander is with now. “By the time he showed up, we did a lot more sensitive testing and realized he wasn’t ready to go for a while — if we wanted him to be healthy for the rest of his career and regain a lot of the athleticism he lost, because he used to be an absolute freak athlete,” Lacob said. “So we brought him to camp and told him, ‘Here’s the deal: You’re going to miss camp, you’re going to miss a couple of months, but we’re going to get you there. We promise that.’”  More from around the NBA.

  • After openly questioning Lakers management and declaring he has no patience for a rebuilding effort, Kobe Bryant has since opened up communication with the Lakers front office, the 18-year veteran said in a conversation with ESPN’s Darren Rovell.  “[Jim Buss] and I actually talked after that and it’s important for us to have that conversation because this is their team, it’s been in their family for years and we all know what the track record is for that, but I’ve also been part of this franchise since I was 17 years old,” Bryant said, according to Dave McMenamin of “I feel like I bleed purple and gold and I want to see this franchise be successful. I don’t want to hear the comments of dissension between Jim and [Lakers president] Jeanie [Buss]. We need to figure this thing out. We’re all moving in the same direction.”
  • Irving Azoff is reportedly becoming Knicks owner James Dolan‘s closest confidant, but Azoff tells Scott Cacciola of The New York Times that he won’t play any further role with the Knicks after shepherding the hiring of Phil Jackson as team president.
  • Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson is a leading candidate for the newly-vacant University of Houston job, sources tell Pat Forde and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  The gig opened up earlier today when James Dickey stepped down after four years as coach. Dickey was 64-62 in his career at Houston
  • Rodrigue Beaubois turned down an offer from Italian team Olimpia Milano, according to (on Twitter).  With Beaubois still available, Paris-Levallois is set to bring him in for a tryout.
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