Kobe the heir to Jordan's throne?

644384.png

Kobe the heir to Jordan's throne?

Since his retirement from the NBA, fans and players have been searching for someone big enough to fill Michael Jordan's shoes. The name that consistently pops up as of late is Kobe Bryant, even from the mouth of Jordan himself.

Roland Lazenby is a basketball writer - who wrote "Mad Game" about Bryant - and is working on a Michael Jordan biography. ProBasketballTalk found his Tweet saying, "Kobe's ultimate competition is MJ. That's why MJ watches him. MJ made people think what he was doing wasn't human. Ditto to the Kobester."

Lazenby added in another Tweet, "I never said Kobe was better than MJ. MJ just told me Kobe's the only one to have done the work, to deserve comparison."

Lazenby has been spending a lot of time comparing Bryant to Jordan on his Twitter feed saying that Bryant really is the most comparable to the former Bulls great.

embedly_twitter_52732733background:url(http:a1.twimg.comprofile_background_images297284855west_cover_9.jpg) 709397; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_52732733 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_52732733 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_52732733 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_52732733 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_52732733 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_52732733 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_52732733 p a color: FF3300; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_52732733 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_52732733 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_52732733 a color: FF3300; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_52732733 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_52732733 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_52732733 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_52732733 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_52732733 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_52732733 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_52732733 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @lazenby
Roland Lazenby MJ definitely liked to follow Kobe's efforts in the triangle offense. It was a trip down memory lane. Like looking at himself in some ways.
Jan 18 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

embedly_twitter_41270596background:url(http:a1.twimg.comprofile_background_images297284855west_cover_9.jpg) 709397; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_41270596 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_41270596 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_41270596 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_41270596 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_41270596 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_41270596 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_41270596 p a color: FF3300; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_41270596 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_41270596 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_41270596 a color: FF3300; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_41270596 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_41270596 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_41270596 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_41270596 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_41270596 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_41270596 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_41270596 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @lazenby
Roland Lazenby Kobe's MJ like in that his every action sets way high standards for teammates. Sometimes impossibly high. It was tough when Kobe was a teen
Jan 15 via web Favorite Retweet Reply
Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person also believes Bryant deserves to stand side-by-side with Jordan.

In an interview with SI.com Person said that Bryant "is lethal to the 10th power. This guy has an unending thirst for winning, and he shows it in practice every day - when he's able to."

Person also added that he feels like Jordan was on a level by himself but "the closest guy next to him his Kobe."

What do you think? Is Bryant the next Jordan? Is it fair to compare the two?

Carmelo Anthony: 'I'm glad (Derrick Rose) is on my team'

Carmelo Anthony: 'I'm glad (Derrick Rose) is on my team'

by Jonathan Joffe

Derrick Rose has a new fan now that he's in New York: Carmelo Anthony.

Rose's new teammate and fellow multi-time all-star is a happy to be teaming up with the former Bull.

In addition to complimenting Rose's game, Anthony applauded the Knicks' front office for making moves that allow the team to be competitive in the upcoming season.

It was once thought that Melo and D-Rose could sport the same uniform aside from Olympic competitions. While it won't be in Chicago, the two will be making that thought a reality in New York.

Report: Pau Gasol tells Bulls he has declined option, becoming a free agent

Report: Pau Gasol tells Bulls he has declined option, becoming a free agent

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but Pau Gasol is hitting the market.

Gasol told the Bulls that he has declined his option for the 2016-17 season and will become a free agent, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

The 35-year-old signed a three-year, $22.3 million deal with the Bulls in the summer of 2014.

In two seasons with the Bulls, he averaged 17.6 points per game and 11.4 rebounds and made an All-Star appearance.

Bulls: NBA Validation for Valentine came in the United Center last season

Bulls: NBA Validation for Valentine came in the United Center last season

Denzel Valentine’s annual growth had long been noticed by NBA executives but perhaps fittingly, it was a game in Chicago that served as the reinforcement he needed to know the NBA was in his sights.

On a national stage and on the United Center floor last November, Valentine put up one of the best stat lines in college basketball, leading Michigan State to a comeback 79-73 win over Kansas, a team ranked No. 4 in the nation at the time.

If he had any doubts about his future, a 29-point, 12-rebound and 12-assist performance served as the confirmation he was on an upward trajectory.

“I knew I could play in the NBA when I started my career at Michigan State,” Valentine said to CSNChicago.com after his introductory news conference. “Playing against guys like (Victor) Oladipo, (Cody) Zeller and those guys, I knew I could play in the NBA but I didn’t know I would be a first round, 14th pick. But I realized that this year after my triple double against Kansas.

“I realized I could be the best player in the country. It was very important because I got off to a good start and it helped me throughout the year.”

That night, the Bulls were rolling right along at 7-3, headed out West for a four-game trip and looking every bit like a team that would be in the thick of Eastern Conference contention. The likelihood of a marriage between a player billed as a mid-lottery pick and the Bulls seemed improbable if not damn near impossible.

But the Bulls hit several roadblocks and landed in the draft lottery, while Valentine put together one of the more complete statistical seasons in recent memory, averaging nearly 20 points and almost eight rebounds and eight assists.

Valentine hit a roadblock of his own with draft preparation, as word about prospective teams red-flagging his left knee began to trickle out, raising questions about his long-term availability.

At least one team in the lottery definitively passed on Valentine because of fears surrounding his knee, which was surgically worked on in high school and followed by a minor procedure in December, causing him to miss four games.

“It did surprise me because I’m healthy now,” Valentine said. “I only missed four games. I can control what I can control and let the chips fall that it may. I was a little surprised, a little angry that people were texting me asking if I were hurt. And I was like ‘what?’ But at the same time, I could control what I could control and I’m happy to be here.”

Missing a few practices here and there seemed to be the biggest side effect for Valentine through the season, as accolades followed nonetheless with him winning National Player of the Year over Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, who went sixth in last Thursday’s draft.

“He’s gonna go out there and fight,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s been in so many high-pressure games at Michigan State. For a guy that played in Final Fours, made big play after big play. He’s been a part of winning cultures since high school. That’s huge, great experience for Denzel. If he can suit up, he can play.”

The awards are certainly not a precursor for pro success, as more than a few collegiate POY’s have wound up as professional carcasses in an unforgiving game.

But the qualities Valentine was noted for in college could translate to the NBA, and from the sounds of things he’ll get every opportunity with the Bulls to show off his versatility.

He’ll be thrown into the shallow end of the pool, so to speak, in Summer League next month. New acquisition Jerian Grant (via the Derrick Rose trade), Cristiano Felicio, Bobby Portis and Spencer Dinwiddie (acquired for Cameron Bairstow) will also join Valentine in Las Vegas.

“He's a basketball player,” Hoiberg said. “That's the big thing I got from talking to coach (Tom) Izzo, is you can play him all over the court. He's a facilitator. He's an excellent positional rebounder. He can bust out with the ball. And he gives you the opportunity to play in so many ways.”

Valentine wasn’t given a definitive position, and perhaps there’s no natural one over the other. But having the ability to be a floor-spreading point guard with Jimmy Butler handling or even a small-ball power forward leaves Hoiberg and the Bulls plenty of options.

“And I think how we want to play with our young core, how Fred we wants to play, we think it's a perfect fit in regards to his skill level and his basketball IQ and what he brings to the floor,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said.