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Kobe Nearly Quit Basketball for Soccer as a Kid

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Zero. That’s the number of points I scored the entire summer while playing in Philadelphia’s Sonny Hill Future League when I was 12 years old. I didn’t score. Not a free throw, not an accidental layup, not even a lucky throw-the-ball-up-oops-it-went-in basket.

My father Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and my uncle John “Chubby” Cox were Future League legends in their day. My father as a 6-10 point forward and my uncle as a 6-4 point guard.

I was putting my family to shame!

I considered maybe just giving up basketball and just focusing on soccer. Here’s where my respect and admiration for MJ was forged. I learned that he had been cut from his high school team as a freshman; I learned he knew what it felt like to be embarrassed, to feel like a failure. But he used those emotions to fuel him, make him stronger, he didn’t quit. So I decided to take on my challenge the same way he did. I would channel my failure as fuel to keep my competitive fire burning. I became obsessed with proving to my family — and more importantly to myself — that I CAN DO THIS.

via Kobe Bryant on the Players’ Tribune

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Sources: Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge Agree on Extension

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San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has reached agreement on a contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. The deal includes a partial guarantee in the third year.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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LeBron James Still Uncertain for Season Opener

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LeBron James tested his injured left ankle during a portion of practice Sunday, but it’s still not known if he’ll play in Cleveland’s season opener.

James has been slowed since spraining his ankle in practice on Sept. 27. The three-time NBA champion sat out the Cavaliers’ first three exhibition games before making his debut last week against Chicago. He played 30 minutes but may have aggravated his ankle while making a spin move in the loss.

Source: USA Today Sports

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Rodney Hood, Jazz Don’t Come to Agreement on Extension

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Rodney Hood and the Utah Jazz will not come to an agreement on a contract extension, barring a last minute change, sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune, clearing the way for Hood to become a restricted free agent next summer.

Source: Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune

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