Western Notes: Bryant, Lakers, Spurs

Kobe Bryant appears to be leaning toward retirement at the end of the year, but he hasn’t made a decision just yet, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. “If you asked me today, this would be my last year. But you never know,” Bryant said. “We’ll keep it open. Whatever happens, happens.” Regardless of when the five time NBA champion decides to retire, he has no desire to get into coaching. “I don’t feel like dealing with divas,” Bryant said jokingly.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference

  • The Lakers passed on Kristaps Porzingis in part because of how long they thought it would take him to develop, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. “[Porzingis] really didn’t show any fear. We just thought it would take him some time,” coach Byron Scott said. “Obviously we’re a little wrong about that. He’s playing pretty well right now.”
  • The Spurs are taking a hands-off approach to integrating LaMarcus Aldridge into their system, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “We still haven’t coached him much,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “We just watch him.” San Antonio is using the same strategy that the team employed with Tim Duncan during the 1997/98 campaign. “Coaching [Duncan] didn’t seem too smart to me,” Popovich said. “If there’s something you might add to his game, you do it after you’ve seen what he does naturally.” 
  • The Spurs have assigned Jonathon Simmons to their D-League affiliate in Austin, the team announced. This is the first D-League assignment of the season for San Antonio. You can keep track of all of the D-League assignments and recalls made during the 2015/16 campaign here.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

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