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Kobe Says Team USA Would Beat The Dream Team; Nets Move On Without Dwight Howard

It’s that time of year again, or rather, that time of year that comes around once every four years when the same question is asked and we have to converse on the same debate. Could this Team USA beat the original Dream Team, the only Dream Team that really counts? With so many bodies hitting the floor – Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc., etc. – that they should come out to Drowning Pool this year, we thought this might’ve been the first year we didn’t have to hear someone drop the bomb. Of course, it had to come from Kobe Bryant. Bryant said yesterday that although the ’92 team had much more size, they were also old and couldn’t compete with the young race horses on the 2012 team. “So I don’t know,” he said. “It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out.” First of all, check out the video. As one of our followers put it on Twitter last night, Bryant looks like Omar Epps after he tore up his knee in Love & Basketball. That’s not a good sign. Secondly, we could have this argument IF everyone that was supposed to be here wasn’t limping around back home, or in Dwight’s case, crying and moaning because he can’t go to the Nets now. A squad with a perimeter lineup that features Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant is stupid, and they’d give buckets to anyone, regardless of the competition. You still have to give the edge to the team with the best player, but we’d love to see that matchup… especially in the international game that favors perimeter play … Naturally, Charles Barkley chimed in and said other than Durant, LeBron and Bryant, nobody else would even make the Dream Team … Other interesting stuff that Kobe said yesterday was about Westbrook, blurting out, “That kid’s cuckoo like I am.” We’re pretty sure this is a compliment … Speaking some more on Bryant – maybe this was some scheme he conjured up while admiring himself in the mirror because nobody had said a word about him for weeks? – Steve Nash was officially introduced as a Laker yesterday and said on ESPN he “feels like a lucky boy” to be playing with Kobe. That’s cool and all but did he really have to rock the new No. 10 jersey in a smedium? He’s causing accidents in that photo, looking like Tom Cruise with a terrible haircut … And as we wrote yesterday, Dwight Howard won’t be going to the Nets this summer, and possibly ever. He screwed himself over by opting in with the Magic, and now that the Nets have exhausted all possible trade scenarios, they decided to stick with Brook Lopez, signing him yesterday to a max extension for four years and $60 million. To break it down, Howard won’t be getting traded to Brooklyn, so that leaves the Lakers, Rockets and Hawks as some likely options. Or, Orlando might just wait it out and see what happens. Atlanta has Josh Smith to entice the big man. The Lakers have talent in Andrew Bynum to throw away. The Rockets seem to think they have something. When is Coach Cal going to stick his head in and lure Dwight Howard to Kentucky? … Keep reading to hear about the new signing the Heat have made that could have major payoffs …

The Heat continue to pour it on the rest of the NBA. Yesterday, they unveiled their two newest designated shooters: Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. In what could go down as the largest pay cut in the history of the world, Lewis signed on for two years and $2.8 million. If he has anything left, this would be a killer deal: a sweet-shooting versatile forward who can play off the ball and help anchor the second lineup … The Pacers were another busy team yesterday. They’ve added Gerald Green to be one of their top wing players off the bench, giving him a three-year, $10 million deal. It’s crazy to think how far he’s come. We remember seeing the former high school star at All-Star Weekend in February, watching the NBA teams practice from the corner of the arena, hanging out with a bunch of D-Leaguers and going virtually unnoticed. The Pacers also traded Darren Collison and swingman Dahntay Jones in a sign-and-trade deal. Dallas will send back Ian Mahinmi. Meanwhile, we’d say Collison is a pretty decent backup plan for Dallas, who failed to nab Deron Williams, and then let Jason Terry walk. The Mavs also picked up Chris Kaman, who’ll be bringing his Fourth of July backyard fireworks sessions along with him … Other signings and deals that went down yesterday: Ryan Anderson was officially traded to New Orleans for forward/center Gustavo Ayon … The Dorell Wright-to-Philly deal was expanded to include New Orleans, who will send Jarrett Jack to the Bay Area … The Bulls waived C.J. Watson and are interested in Michael Redd because they could lose Kyle Korver to the T’Wolves … And the Nets added Jerry Stackhouse, who became much less relevant than Sookie Stackhouse a long time ago … Finally, John Wall helped to unveil the cover for Dime #70 when he tweeted out the cover early yesterday afternoon. We’re extremely proud of this one – a lot of dope features in there on Joe Johnson‘s sneaker vault, Evan Turner, Dion Waiters, Anthony Davis, and a definitive look at the promising rookie class – so hopefully Wall can back it up and get the Wizards into the playoffs in 2013. Check for the issue on newsstands nationwide … We’re out like Dwight’s dream.

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