Friday, December 17, 2010


Feb. 13, 2010 - Dallas, China - (100214) -- DALLAS, Feb. 14,2010 (Xinhua) -- Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (L) watches the competitions during NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas Feb. 13, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun.

(Last year Kobe shined fashionably at the All-Star game in Dallas but will not want to miss this years game at L.A. with injury)

Kobe Bryant's been in the news a a lot over the last 24. The legend that skipped college for the pros is calling for high school basketball to improve following being honored by his old hallways of Lower Merion. After what Kobe saw fundamentally from some of the Spanish Basketball students he visited in Barcelona this preseason he has stressed that things must improve here, stating that some coaches "end up skating through things in AAU and go to college and still have all these weaknesses in their game". He added his displeasure "I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I think it’s a system thing we need to address in the United States". It's been a good, celebratory day for Kobe despite being criticized for striking an endorsement deal with a Turkish flight company. Kobe has also been named the top vote getter so far for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game that will be played in Los Angeles at his Lakers Staples Centre. Dwight Howard leads the East but Kobe leads the league with 722,682 votes and these are just the first returns.

Mar. 22, 2010 - Milwaukee, WISCONSIN, UNITED STATES - epa02089140 Atlanta Hawks forward Joe Smith (L) tries to block a shot by Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut of Australia in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 22 March 2010.

New Laker forward/centre Joe Smith is excited to be in La, la land. As the 16 year veteran with a regular name but not a regular Joe career believes his window for a ring hasn't shut yet. The well travelled, 35 year old centre who was acquired for Sasha Vujacic has "lost count" of the 12 teams he has suited up for but has not lost sight of his one remaining goal, a championship. This is looking even more likely as the talented frontcourt player is with the two time defending champs the Lake Show looking for their three-peat. "I was excited when I got the phone call — kind of sad and excited," Smith says missing his old club but looking forward to what he can bring to the Lakers. "On the basketball court, (I'll bring) the same energy I always brought throughout my career," the hard worker told the Los Angeles Times. "Defending, rebounding the ball, knocking down shots." A strong player like Smith is exactly what the Lakers need as their quest to complete their Lord of The Rings trilogy gets even tougher. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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