From his comfy seat behind the mic at ESPN, Jalen Rose now feels okay admitting he probably took Kobe Bryant out on purpose during the 2000 NBA Finals. Let’s set the scene: Game 2 of the Finals, the Lakers are up 1-0 and looking like a sure bet to take home a ring because of the way Shaquille O’Neal was devouring Pacer body parts throughout the first game. Nine minutes into Game 2, Rose was just beginning a 30-point night when he stepped underneath a Bryant jumper. You know what happens next: Bryant leaves the game with a rolled ankle, misses Game 3 in Indiana as the Lakers get beat, and then returns in Game 4 to save them in overtime. In a video with Grantland, Rose admitted he thought he did it on purpose, and said he would’ve been happy had Bryant missed the whole series because he’d have a championship ring. Rose joked that he and Bryant are close, but now when Kobe learns his Fab Five buddy once took him out on purpose, they might keep it moving the next time they’re in the same room. Bryant also dropped 81 on Jalen a few years later, so maybe they can call it even … While it’s obvious you can purposefully injure someone by doing this – in fact in basketball, it’s probably the easiest way to take someone out – that doesn’t make it the No. 1 no-no in hoop etiquette as Rose thinks. Sometimes it’s impossible to stop yourself. If you’re closing out at full speed, you can’t always stop. There’s momentum. There’s the fact that not every jump shooter comes down in the same place he took off at. If you’re trying to make varsity, and the coach notices you closing out weakly because you’re not trying to undercut anyone, well, you might as well not show up the next day. It sucks when it inadvertently happens, but it’s a part of the game, along with bailout jumpers and klutzy Blake Griffin post moves. Not everyone is Bruce Bowen, who probably has 17 ankle tendons stashed in his trophy case at home … The Harlem Globetrotters have announced their 2013 Rookie class, which has two girls. They’ll be joining former stars Special K Daley, Big Easy Lofton, Flight Time Lang and Dizzy Grant (why can’t NBA players have nicknames like these anymore?) … In case you missed it yesterday, we posted another feature from the current “Kobe” issue. We gave you the 10 names who will shape the future generation of basketball, and the list includes a Peter and a Rob, a Derrick, two Andrews, a Jabari, a Kyrie, an Adam and Anthony, as well as a Damian. How many can you name correctly? … And a few weeks back, we showcased one of the first releases for the LeBron X lineup – a sick sneaker that’s since been coined the “Fireberry” (or, as other more simplistic people are calling them, the “Dr. Peppers”). Now, theshoegame.com is reporting they’re set to release this Saturday for $270. This colorway is coming as a Nike+ joint, so get your paper up … Keep reading to hear what Blake Griffin expects from the Spurs this year …
The Spurs have apparently been a good team for 500 years, according to Blake Griffin. Griffin is trying hard to play the comedy card so far throughout his career, and was obviously joking when he told The Oklahoman, “I think there’s a lot of tough teams in the Western Conference. There’s one right here (in Oklahoma City) that the Lakers have to get over. The Spurs have been a good team for the past 500 years. And I think we’re preparing for that. So that’s kind of what you expect people to do. You expect them to hand out the trophy in the middle of the summer. So we’re not worried about that. We’re not worried about just the Lakers.” What we’re taking from this: Blake expects the Spurs to be a player in the West again, even as “experts” expect them to fall back this year… while he thinks the conference is so deep that the Lakers aren’t the odds-on favorites to come out of the West. Basically, Griffin is 100 percent right … Luckily for everyone, we’re closing in on the chance to see San Antonio be great for a 501st straight year. Some NBA teams already have their pre-sales started for tickets this year. You can thank us later … Remember Brian Cook? Yeah, he’s the guy who has somehow lasted nine years in the NBA even though he hasn’t averaged more than five points a night in any year since 2007, and has only played 168 total games since then. Michael Lee of The Washington Post reports he has a non-guaranteed contract with the Wizards … Apparently, Boston showed some interest in Kenyon Martin despite not having any room for him, or really any need. Honestly, you could probably say that for almost any team in the league – that’s probably a good reason why K-Mart is still in limbo and doesn’t have a squad yet… that, and the fact that Martin still won’t take the veteran minimum. At this point, he’s a soon-to-be 35-year-old who rebounded worse last season than just about any year in his career, while shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from the line. But at least he still has one of the league’s nicest tattoos … And R.I.P. to Steve Sabol, the man who helped craft NFL Films and turned football into more than just a sport. He made it art, and MUST be considered one of the pioneers of creating the current billion-dollar machine that Roger Goodell and his army of fake refs are sabotaging. Sabol is one of the greatest storytellers of all time – in any venue – and since Dime is all about telling stories, we consider this a great loss in sports media … We’re out like Jalen and Kobe’s friendship.
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