Friday Morning Links, Featuring Kobe Bryant & Smush Parker

LA Times: Six years ago, Kobe Bryant averaged a career-high 35 points per game for a Laker squad that featured the likes of Smush Parker and Kwame Brown.  He hasn’t stopped praising himself since, and he probably never will.  The problem with this, of course, is that Kobe Bryant has spent the majority of his career playing alongside the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.  For Bryant to continuously toot his own horn over the brief period of time that bridged the O’Neal and Gasol eras… it’s simply ridiculous, especially considering his involvement in Shaq’s departure from LA (not to mention some of his other antics, such as the trade demand and his decision to give up in game seven of the ’06 quarterfinals).

Larry Brown Sports: Smush Parker’s take on this matter.  While Smush is certainly not the bigger basketball player, I think he comes away from this looking like the bigger person.  Plus, Kobe never drove a Smushcalade.  He isn’t in this website’s banner, either.  Score three for Smush Parker! James Harden suffered a groin injury in yesterday’s practice.  He’ll be evaluated over the weekend to determine the severity of the injury, but for what it’s worth the reporter on the scene believes he’ll be playing by Tuesday.  Groin injuries tend to be persistent, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Thunder take a more cautious approach. Al Jefferson has a $23,000 bed.  It occupies 120 square feet, which is about the size of some peoples’ bedrooms.  Now I’m interested in seeing the rest of Al Jefferson’s house… specifically the door that this mattress came through.  That must be some kind of door.

Ball Don’t Lie: Shane Battier wishes someone would guard him so he could play more instinctively.  Unfortunately for Battier, what defenders do is out of his control.  This is why I believe Battier should come up with a pre-shot routine, kind of like it’s a foul shot.  He could bounce the ball, exhale, read a book, whatever… then release his three-pointer.

Pro Basketball Talk: DeMarcus Cousins: “coach wants me to shoot the three ball.”  Keith Smart: “I didn’t want to see it, but he was going to shoot it anyway.”  Well, Keith, DeMarcus is a 15.6 percent three-point shooter.  That practically makes him Steve Novak, right?

Youtube: In China, they call LeBron the “Little Emperor.”  Personally, I don’t call LeBron “Little” anything, and following this display the Chinese probably won’t either.  LeBron James, the “Big-Humongous-Slam-Dunking-Three-Hundred-Dollar-Sneaker-Selling Emperor.”  That’s more like it!

Truth About It: An in-depth review of Wizards/Knicks, the lone preseason game that was televised last night.  The Knicks took the W thanks to some 7-7 three-point marksmanship from Steve Novak, but Bradley Beal and Martell Webster shined as they sparked an early 22-0 Washington run.

NY Daily News: Andray Blatche’s decision to sign with the Nets had a lot to do with Avery Johnson and Brandon Bass.  LeBron James?  Not so big a factor.

DIME: Someone’s list of the top 10 dunks on Emeka Okafor.  Somehow, Trevor Ariza kicks him square in the nuts and finishes only third.  Questionable rankings, but entertaining clips nonetheless.

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