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Kobe Calls Out Team for Being ‘Soft’ During Practice

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Kobe Bryant returned to practice for the first time this month and called his teammates “soft” during a heated 5-on-5 scrimmage between the starters and reserves Thursday.

When practice was opened to the media, Bryant and Nick Young were already trading barbs during the scrimmage with Young telling Bryant, “Nobody in the world can guard me one-on-one,” and Bryant telling Young, “You’re going exactly where I want you to go.”

Later Bryant said, “You m—–f—— are soft like Charmin in this m—–f—–. God damn, is this the type of s— that’s going on in these practices? Now I see why we’ve lost 20 f—ing games. We’re soft like Charmin. We’re soft like s—.”

via Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

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Jeff Hornacek: ‘We’ve moved on’ from Joakim Noah

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New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek strongly indicated Tuesday that exiled center Joakim Noah will not be back with the team.

“We’ve moved on. He’s ready to move on and maybe have an opportunity somewhere else,” Hornacek said following the Knicks’ first practice after the All-Star break.

Noah and the Knicks have mutually agreed that the veteran forward be away from the team indefinitely following a heated argument between him and the coach at practice in late January.

Hornacek said Tuesday that the plan is for Noah to remain away for the foreseeable future. He wasn’t sure if Noah would return before the end of the season, noting that the decision would come from team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

Source: Ian Begley of ESPN

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Anthony Davis: ‘We go to the Finals’ with DeMarcus Cousins Healthy

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As New Orleans star Anthony Davis prepares for the second half of the season with the Pelicans holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference, he still thinks about what could have been this year had teammate DeMarcus Cousins not ruptured his Achilles.

“We could have gone through the playoffs. No one could really stop us as bigs. We go to the Finals if we went,” Davis told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview over All-Star weekend.

Davis and Cousins were on pace to become the first teammates ever to each average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game when Cousins went down with the season-ending injury on Jan. 26. The Pelicans were sixth in the West at that point and climbing in the standings. Cousins was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, over the past 50 seasons, only four players averaged those numbers for an entire season — and all four were named MVP.

Source: ESPN

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Source: Trail Blazers, Brandon Rush Agree to Deal

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Brandon Rush has agreed to a 10-day contract with Portland, league source tells ESPN.

Sources: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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