Utah’s Rodney Hood impressed his coach with the way he reacted to a dose of NBA trash talking from the Lakers‘ Kobe Bryant, writes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. In an exhibition game last week, Bryant reminded the second-year player that he was going up against one of the league’s all-time greats, listing a resume that includes 17 All-Star games and five NBA titles. Hood, on the other hand, is trying to carve out a role with the Jazz after averaging 8.7 points in 50 games during his rookie season, mostly as a backup. “I think Rodney just played like he was playing against another really, really good player,” said Quin Snyder. “The challenge that I like that I saw in that was that Kobe was really physical and that’s something that if you’ve haven’t (experienced), particularly in your second year, if you haven’t played against that toughness and that intensity, that it’s new.”
There’s more from around the basketball world:
- Nikoloz Tskitishvili has signed a deal to play in China, tweets international journalist David Pick. Tskitishvili, who was waived by the Clippers last week, scored 13 points in his audition for the Fujian team. He signed a 48-hour deal, but both sides share an option to extend it (Twitter link). At age 32, Tskitishvili had been hoping to return to the NBA after being out of the league since 2006.
- Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling has filed an appeal of the probate court decision that gave his wife, Shelly, control of the family trust as well as the authority to sell the team, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. A hearing has been set for October 28th after Sterling’s legal team asked the court to expedite his appeal of the probate case (Twitter link).
- This season should feature a wide-open race for the Rookie of the Year trophy, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. The columnist names the Pistons‘ Stanley Johnson, the Nuggets‘ Emmanuel Mudiay and the Sixers‘ Jahlil Okafor as the early favorites, but says several other contenders could emerge.