Win one -- or a bunch -- for Buss
Kobe Bryant ended his eulogy at Thursday's private ceremony that remembered Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss by issuing a challenge to all his teammates during a season in which they are searching for something to save it.
"I encourage all of you to look around the room," he said during a quirky memorial service in which Lakers greats Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson all spoke at the Nokia Theatre across from Staples Center. "Look at the greatness of one man's vision, look at the players that are here, coaches that are here: We have one thing in common, we all believe in Dr. Jerry Buss. We are playing for something bigger than ourselves, bigger than a single season, playing for the memory of a great man, Dr. Jerry Buss."
Just wait until the draft combine
Houston's separate trades with Sacramento and Phoenix -- two of the few made before Thursday's league deadline -- brought the Rockets a top-five lottery talent in forward Thomas Robinson and shed salary to provide more cap space they can use to make a run at perhaps Dwight Howard or Josh Smith this summer.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale isn't impressed, not yet at least.
"I've never seen Cap Room score a basket yet," he told reporters. "I've seen old Cap and his last name is Room. I've yet to see him put a hoop in, haven't seen him block a shot, haven't seen him get a rebound yet. But when Cap Room starts putting up numbers, we should be in great shape."
Looking to team for comfort
San Antonio's Stephen Jackson returned to the team Thursday after taking a three-game leave after his wife, Renata, lost their first child she had been carrying for 6 1/2 months.
"I'm as good as I can be," he told the San Antonio Express-News before Thursday's game in Los Angeles against the Clippers. "I'm happy to be back with the team. I need to be back with the team, just for my own sanity. Basketball and being around these guys helps me a lot, so it's definitely something I needed."