If you would’ve told us at any point during the past year that Pau Gasol‘s job security in July of 2012 would be locked up, we would’ve laughed. It’s amazing how things changed. Now, it’s Andrew Bynum who has one foot out the door, a piece of meat being spun on a skewer for Houston, Cleveland, Orlando and anyone else who will take a moment to listen. What’s perhaps even more ironic is how Kobe Bryant – the same guy who’s averaged probably 5.6 glares a game at Gasol over the past two years – is saying he wants the big Spaniard around. In talking with reporters at Team USA practice, Bryant said, according to Brian Mahoney, “As long as I’m there, he’s going to be there.” Kobe’s reasoning? He would’ve agreed to deal Gasol for a young, big-time point guard like Chris Paul, but now that they have one of the better lead generals in the game, they don’t need to deal him. We love how Bryant basically acts as a de-facto GM, and now that he’s endorsed his big man, Gasol is back on Twitter thanking Kobe for being so nice to him, completely disregarding the last 12 months when Kobe was ready to deal anybody if it meant another trip to the Finals … Does Dirk Nowitzki know what Rick Carlisle is saying? Speaking on what Dallas needs to win another title before Dirk hits the retirement road, the Mavs’ head coach said that Dirk needs to be the team’s second-best player for them to have any chance. Forgetting that all this is completely true for just a second, how could Nowitzki not take offense to his coach saying something like that? Everyone is mortal, except for NBA superstars, who believe they’ll never grow old and will still be dropping 25 a night deep into their 30s. But maybe Dirk is different. Maybe he’s a realist who understands the dilemma he’s in: a star player on a team trying to rebuild on the fly who weren’t able to nab either of the two superstars available this summer (Deron Williams, Dwight Howard). However you cut it, we think it’s a little weird that Dirk’s coach is putting that out there. Either that, or the two of them just have an absolutely perfect relationship … And it’s being reported the Hornets are interested in a sign and trade involving DeSagana Diop. That’s not a joke. Apparently, the deal could involve Carl Landry going to Charlotte, and Diop coming back in return. If David Stern DOESN’T veto the s$%& out of that deal, we’re gonna have some problems … Keep reading to see which former star the Nets might be adding soon …
Anyone remember Andrei Kirilenko? The guy used to be the closest thing we had to a 5-tool player, and was regularly one of the top 20 picks in every fantasy draft. Then, everything fell apart, he started acting weird, getting obnoxious tattoos and hasn’t been heard from since the lockout. After spending last year playing in Europe, he’s back talking to the Nets again and GM Billy King is admitting the two sides are in contact. Nothing is imminent, and no one really knows if AK-47 even actually wants to come back to the league. But King says the dude can still play, and as a small forward, he’d be a great backup to Gerald Wallace, considering the two are so similar. But if he’s going anywhere, we’re sure Mikhail Prokhorov will probably pull a few Russian women out of his stable and convince his countryman to come to Brooklyn and use that hall pass Kirilenko’s so famous for … You know it’s a slow day in the NBA offseason when one of the top stories involves Greg Stiemsma. The man who become the very definition of a “foul” in the playoffs has agreed to contract terms with Minnesota on a deal that no one expects Boston to match. Normally, Celtics fans would take perhaps 20 seconds to gather themselves and then move on. They’ve picked up some decent draft picks and Courtney Lee, and re-signed everyone other than Judas Allen. They have a lot to be thankful for. But as the backup center (have to mention his skin color as well), Stiemsma earned special Tommy Points with them. He’ll be missed unlike any other backup big man has ever been missed before … We’re out like anyone’s interest in Diop.
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