Game recognize game: Kobe with Arian Foster

You can see some really cool things in the back of Toyota Center, after the game.  That happened today.  Above, Kobe chatted with Texans running back Arian Foster (along with James Harden) for a good five minutes.

in multimedia

ESPNLA: Lakers at Rockets, What to watch

I took some questions from in anticipation of tonight’s matchup.

The Lakers are now 8-9 and staring down nine December road games. The first comes against the Houston Rockets, a similarly rebuilt team tasked with coming together on the fly. After a slow start, they’re seemingly in better sync these days, having won four of their past five games. Not that the Lakers have earned the right to take any team lightly — just ask the Orlando Magic — but Houston may offer a tougher contest than I certainly figured a month ago.

in conversations, game coverage

Preview: Lakers @ Rockets

in game coverage

A most improved Patrick Patterson

As a young NBA player looking to find your way in the league, it’s common to head into an offseason with a plan to improve a specific area of your game that has already been deemed a strength.

Are you a spot up three-point shooter? Work on that. Are you a pretty good perimeter defender? Work on that. Are you particularly adept at making worthwhile decisions handling a pick-and-roll? Work on that. Everyone wants to achieve LeBron James levels of entirety, but for the majority it’s just not realistic, and most lengthy careers are birthed from a niche: one elite area where an identity can be formed.

As someone who spends their time complimenting the league’s “LeBrons” (80% of the NBA), toiling on a weakness could be viewed as a waste of time and energy. (For example, Steve Novak is paid to shoot three-pointers. When he’s working on his game in August, drives to the basket and pull up 15-footers shouldn’t be on the syllabus.)

Heading into his third NBA season, Patrick Patterson chose to go against the grain, and it’s a decision that so far has paid off ten fold for both himself, and the Houston Rockets.  [read more…]

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