SportsNet - July 2012
Nobody knows when it began but Kobe Bryant has seemingly sought to eclipse Michael Jordan since he was an 18-year-old rookie. His next championship would be his sixth, like Jordan, and his next gold medal would give him two, like Jordan. He even grew a goatee similar to the one worn on Jordan's face during the '92 Olympic Games.
However, his comments about whether the 2012 incarnation would defeat the original Dream Team show's he's got a little Clyde Drexler in him as well.
You may or may not remember the other quote Drexler gave Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum after he discussed Magic Johnson's inclusion on the Dream Team.
"I don't fear anyone. I don't think anybody was better than me," Drexler told McCallum. "I had a lot of success against Jordan. I beat him often. At his game. Which is also my game. I was bigger, faster. I did everything he could do. Except shoot more."
Drexler was right that Jordan couldn't do anything he couldn't do but Jordan as McCallum points out Jordan did everything better. The same could be said for Jordan's career versus Bryant's and for the Team USA comparisons.
New role, same old result for Kevin Durant; and even with another loss from its roster, the U.S. Olympic basketball team just keeps on rolling along.
Durant picked up where he left off in international competition, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Americans to a 113-59 victory over the Dominican Republic on Thursday night in an exhibition game.
The MVP of the world basketball championship two years ago, Durant came off the bench to shoot 9 of 11 from the field, making 5 of 6 3-pointers in 22 minutes. He said coach Mike Krzyzewski told him shortly before the game that Carmelo Anthony would start alongside LeBron James at forward, and he adjusted just fine.
"It felt good to me," Durant said. "It was cool to come off the bench for the first time. Wherever they need that spark, I'm going to try to come out and give them that spark. So I was looking forward to having different roles playing with USA, so it was kind of fun for me, actually."
Each year at this time NBA team executives are in team-building mode. Team executives assess their roster, scan the available players, and seek to make moves to put their team in the hunt for the next NBA title. The Los Angeles Lakers are no different, though, one has to question what problem a team could have that features Kobe Bryant (the Black Mamba), Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest). On paper, as we look at the names, we think of a team capable of competing for the NBA title. But recent history has again shown us that names on paper do not win championships. The Lakers are living that revelation daily, and are seeking to add pieces that will translate from paper champions to on court champions once again.
Liverpool is reported to have agreed on a fee of 12 million pounds with Roma for the signature of Fabio Borini.
The deal is as good as done subject to Borini passing a medical and will be Brendan Rodger's first signing as Liverpool coach.
So what qualities made Rodgers decide to sign up Borini?
Fabio Borini may not be well known to many football fans who follow the English Premier League but the 21 year old prodigy is already a seasoned player at the highest level.
The Italian international who previously played for Roma entered into the football scene at the tender age of nine years initially playing for Bologna in Italy before joining Chelsea in 2007 as a youth player at the age of 16 years.
Borini's talents blossomed at Chelsea where he played for the reserves and instantly became their top striker netting 10 times in 11 appearances including scoring 5 goals in one game against Birmingham in 2010. He also featured for Chelsea at the senior level in the Champions league.
Clippers All-Star forward, Blake Griffin, sustained a left knee injury during Wednesday night's practice with the U.S. Olympic basketball team in Las Vegas and was scheduled to return to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation.
The same doctor who performed his season-ending left knee surgery during his rookie season in 2010 will examine Blake Griffin.
Griffin had been given a clean bill of health after he took a physical Tuesday in L.A., before he signed his five-year, $95-million contract extension. Griffin is not going to play Thursday night against the Dominican Republic in Las Vegas.
It's the same knee that Griffin sprained in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Griffin didn't miss a game in that series and played in the next four games in the semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs.