California Notes: Kobe, Green, Craft, Rivers

Although Kobe Bryant contends he’ll likely play through his current contract, which expires after the 2015/16 season, he admits that he’s at least considered hanging it up at the end of this year, relays Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. “I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t crossed my mind,” Bryant said of retiring. “Right now I doubt it … but anything’s possible… You have to find new challenges, not playing for a championship, it’s pretty tough.” The Lakers sit near the bottom of the Western Conference at 12-29, but Bryant says the team would never consider tanking, going as far as to call the practice “sacrilegious,” notes Plaschke.

There’s more form the California-based teams:

  • Lessons that the WarriorsDraymond Green learned at Michigan State are going to lead to a huge contract this summer, suggests Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group. A second-round pick three years ago, Green has blossomed into one of Golden State’s leaders and will be a restricted free agent this summer. “The guy really is a coach’s dream,” said Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry. “You can’t place a value on that. Use every cliché you can. His teams always win. The squad you put him on in a scrimmage, his team is going to win.”
  • Aaron Craft has generated a positive buzz as a result of his performance at the D-League showcase, observes Scott Howard-Cooper of, who adds that the 23-year-old guard out of Ohio State is on NBA teams’ radars (Twitter link). Craft was cut from the Warriors out of training camp and currently suits up for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s D-League affiliate.
  • The ClippersDoc Rivers and Austin Rivers are trying to downplay their father/son and coach/player relationship, reports Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times“I’m over it,” Austin Rivers said. “[Friday] night was about the son thing and I’m done with that. Now it’s basketball for me.” Los Angeles acquired Rivers from the Celtics Thursday in a three-team deal involving the Suns. The younger Rivers “jumped at the opportunity” to  join L.A., as he tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

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