A tour of Asia has Kobe Bryant traveling quite a bit. That means a lot of walking on a recovering Achilles. Just more than a week ago, it was the Los Angeles Lakers star telling Chinese reporters that he "shattered" his recovery timetable. And on Monday, Bryant emphasized to reporters in the Philippines that his Achilles recovery is going well, according to ESPN.
"My tendon feels really, really good. I was really lucky," Bryant said.
Bryant also dropped another small piece of relevant information as to why he's been such an ironman while working to come back from what's widely considered a career-defining injury.
"The trainers go with me everywhere. Family vacations, business trips -- they're there all the time," he said.
Tuesday marks the four-month point in Bryant's return. He completely tore the Achilles in an April 12 game against the Golden State Warriors and underwent surgery the next day. A reasonable return date would be mid-December, but there's been positivity from Bryant and the Lakers front office that it could be much sooner.
Lin calls himself the 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'
Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin spent last offseason recovering from a knee surgery that ended his breakout year with the New York Knicks. Free agency also played a big role that offseason, but this summer Lin only has to worry about improvement.
Lin told Rockets.com's Jason Friedman that he's worked with his trainer on changing his posture. On the defensive end especially, Lin hunched and has been relearning to move more efficiently.
"... the idea is not so much to be more upright, but to have less concave of a back. One example is that if you look at Derek Fisher in his stance, he looks like an athlete," Lin said. "If you look at me, I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (laughs)."
Durant makes a Seattle return
Seattle basketball fans may have been bitter toward the NBA when the franchise now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder left town, but there's no denying the city won't count Kevin Durant as a bad guy in the saga. The Thunder All-Star returned to the city where he started his NBA career and scored 63 points Sunday in a game at Jamal Crawford's Summer Pro-Am.
It was a league record for the event, which Crawford puts on every summer. And it was special because Crawford told the crowd packed into a 3,000 seat gym that Durant reached out to request a spot on a roster, then paid his own way.
Blazers re-brand the Rose Garden
Portland Trail Blazers president Chris McGowan will be mopping up some PR issues for the foreseeable future. The team officially announced the re-naming of the Rose Garden to the Moda Center on Tuesday.
The short bit of good news for the arena formerly known as the Rose Garden: the deal with Moda Health is worth approximately $4.2 million annually. The bad news: many people don't like it -- or those that are OK with the change aren't as vocal as the many, many Blazers fans that voiced their angry opinions to Blazers Edge via Twitter.
A few of the more tame reactions:
Always gonna be the RG to me
Sucky name. Absolutely hate it. Thanks Chris McGowan.
4.2mil is hardly a single player contract.... Not worth the loss of pride and cultural ID of our city. #thesuitfailed
He needs to go back to LA.
If The Suit thinks streamers & a clown walking the concourse of the ROSE GARDEN will make up for this travesty, he is mistaken
Phil Jackson goes at Kendrick Lamar for going after everyone
The drop of hip hop artist Big Sean's "Control" track included a Kendrick Lamar verse that made the Internet's rap-conscious minds explode. In the verse, Lamar challenged pretty much every successful rapper and also mentioned NBA coach Phil Jackson, who's a pretty successful guy in his own regard.
"If Phil Jackson came back, still no coachin' me
I'm un-coachable, I'm unsociable"
And in typical Phil Jackson fashion -- remember, this guy somehow corralled Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal -- Lamar got a response in the form of a very Zen-like lesson. Wrote Jackson on Twitter:
"it's okay to be cocky and sure, but we all need somebody to lean on. Let's just call it mentoring."
Can we get a Mike Breen "Bang"?