Western Notes: Kobe, Love, Baynes, Sessions

The Western Conference is a remarkable 68-27 against the Eastern Conference this year, though only eight Western teams have winning records as of today. The Nuggets, Kings and Pelicans are all outside the playoffs as it stands with .500 records, but those marks are better than only one team in the top eight in the East. While we wait to see how it shakes out with plenty of season left, here’s the latest from the West:

  • Kobe Bryant says the idea that he’s impatient with the Lakers is off-base and praises the Buss family in a conversation with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Bryant doesn’t rule out playing past his current deal, which expires in the summer of 2016, Wojnarowski notes. The Yahoo! columnist also suggests that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Kevin Love would bolt the Cavs for the Lakers, in spite of his insistence otherwise, and that Bryant will join the Lakers’ pitch to recruit him. A recent report cast Bryant as a turn-off for such star free agents, but the dispatch, which indicated that Paul George signed his extension with the Pacers last year in part because he didn’t want to join Bryant on the Lakers, left George “mortified,” Wojnarowski writes.
  • Aron Baynes is on pace to prove his one-year, $2.077MM deal a bargain for the Spurs as he improves offensively and contributes physical play in the absence of Tiago Splitter, opines Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • Offseason signee Ramon Sessions has had an uneven start to his first season with the Kings and needs to improve or else he’ll risk losing his minutes to Ray McCallum, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. “He’d [Sessions] be the first one to admit he hoped and wished he was playing better and at a more consistent level,” coach Michael Malone said. “He’s had some games where he’s played very well for us, he’s had some games where he hasn’t played as well, but I still believe in Ramon. I know what he is capable of doing. So I’m going to give him some opportunity to grow into that backup role and feel comfortable and confident in that role.”

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

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