Saturday, February 6, 2016
Blog Page 122

Photo by Otto Greule Jr | Getty Images

Kobe Bryant went to Germany last month to have an innovative PRP procedure performed in his right knee. To clarify exactly what the procedure is, and if it can add some youth to Kobe’s right knee, the Voice of the Nation spoke with Dr. Bal Raj. A board certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Beverly Hills, specializing in sports & fitness procedures.

Below is the transcript of the interview:

David Brickley: What procedure did Kobe go to Germany for, to try to add some youth to those legs?

Dr. Raj: We have to clarify one thing about Kobe, he doesn’t have a classic arthritic knee. Arthritis is degradation of the cartilage within your knee that happens over time and there are genetic and environmental factors. With respect to Kobe, he’s a top athlete and he has damaged areas of his knee where he lost cartilage. This is what he has been dealing with and in May of 2010, he had surgery where he had fragments removed out of his knee.

When he went to Germany, he actually went to have PRP done. P stands for platelets, it’s derived from your own blood. After filtering your own blood, you take cells out and the plasma out and you have platelets remaining. The advantage of these platelets is that they are highly concentrated, about 10x the concentration of what is in your normal blood. They can be injected directly into damaged areas and [the platelets] catalyze the growth of normal and new tissue. Blood platelets contain what we call potent globe factors which are necessary to begin tissue repair and regenerate at our injury site.

This technology has been around since the 70s but as of recent, around the past five years, it’s become more and more popular because we’ve realized these concentrated platelets contain large reservoirs of globe factors and cytokines. Not only do they provide a scaffold for healing for tissues in damaged areas, they also induce those cells that are able to produce, such as chondrocytes, to produce more cartilage. On top of that, they are significant anti-inflammatory effects as well. In respect to Kobe’s knee, this actually is one of the best options that is out there at this point.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

A controversial off-season has seen the Lakers hire a new head coach without consulting with their star player, unceremoniously parting ways with assistant coach Brian Shaw, and as Assistant GM Ronnie Lester put it the “Lakers are throwing employees out in the cold”.

Author Roland Lazenby joined the Voice of the Nation on Thursday night to discuss exactly what is going on in the Lakers organization. He intimated that the loss of Phil Jackson and the rise to power of Jim Buss could have a major negative impact on the organization moving forward.

“Tex Winter told me that Jim Buss had a different way of doing things and i heard comments behind the scenes by people who said things may get difficult for the organization once Phil left…Just the way the employees are being treated we’re seeing the beginning of a huge gap in the wake of his leaving” Lazenby said.

It has been well documented that Lakers center Andrew Bynum was Jim Buss’ draft pick and is “his guy”, however it has never been up for discussion who the leader of the Lakers team is, Kobe Bryant. However, Lazenby believes that the hiring of Mike Brown could signal a changing of the guard (or at least the desire for a changing of the guard), and even hinted that Jim Buss’ rising influence within the organization could have been one of the factors that led to Jerry Wests’ departure from the organization 10 years ago.

Mickael Pietrus guards Kobe Bryant - Photo by Getty Images

Mickael Pietrus feels that the Phoenix Suns did a poor job of using him effectively after being traded there from the Orlando Magic. As a result of his discontent with the organization, he has voiced that he desires to have a defined role on a team that is capable of winning a championship.

In a translated article of the French publication ‘L’Equipetranslated by Hoopshype, Pietrus says:

“Phoenix didn’t use me, but that’s their problem. I’m going to continue working. The only thing I care about is winning a title.”

“A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.”

If the reports are true, it’s easy to see why Kobe would have interest in Pietrus as he is an athletic wing that can score from beyond the arc.

If and when the season begins, Pietrus will earn 5.3 million dollars in 2011-12 from the Suns, after picking up his player option this summer.


Kobe Bryant put on a show for his campers at the Kobe Basketball Academy in Santa Barbara. He and Matt Barnes got together with a handful of kids for a game of knockout and 3 on 3 — but I’m just going to cut to the chase here… he performed a 360 dunk and his knees didn’t fall apart (as some of you might have expected).

(h/t Thomas Kurniady)

Son Jim Buss sits next to Lakers Owner Jerry Buss - Photo by Getty Images

The NBA may be in a lockout, but the Voice of the Nation is still rolling on! David Brickley, Kevin Figgers and Jason Riley are, once again, broadcasting from the Fox Sports Radio studios in Burbank, CA.

This week the guys speak with critically acclaimed author, Roland Lazenby, about the current state of the Lakers franchise after the letting go of several staff members including long time assistant general manager, Ronnie Lester. The guys also speak with orthapedic surgeon to the stars, Dr. Bal Raj, about the PRP treatment that Kobe recieved in Germany.


  • Poll: Will the NBA miss games because of the Lockout?
  • Former Lakers general manager says Lakers “are throwing employees out in the cold”
  • Interview: Roland Lazenby – Critically acclaimed sports author
  • Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to play in China
  • Kobe Bryant undergoes PRP knee procedure in Germany
  • Interview: Dr. Bal Raj – Orthapedic surgeon
  • Bynum staying in shape in the ring?
  • Around the NBA
  • Lebron dunks on a kid
  • Best and worst of the week
  • 3 for 3

Additional Audio

  • World Star Hip

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Download Link: Voice of the Nation – Episode #145

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Joe Bryant hugs son Kobe Bryant - Photo by Stephen Dunn | Getty Images

Sports are one of the great bonding moments between parents and their children. Some of sports’ greatest stars have come from families where fathers have been stars themselves, from the Manning family in the NFL to the Griffey family in baseball. This year’s NBA draft, for example, featured former Laker Mychel Thompson watching his son Clay Thompson get drafted with the Golden State Warriors

Looking to Kobe Bryant, it’s easy to forget about his upbringing when you gloss over the championship rings, All-Star games and scoring titles. Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, Kobe’s father, knows this all too well.

In an interview with the LA Times, Bryant spoke about living in the shadow of his All-NBA son, an odd experience for a man who played in the NBA for eight years himself during the 1970s and 80s:

If he’s recognized at a market, movie theater or restaurant, he could be bumped to the front of the line, or promptly seated at a corner table.

He doesn’t want special service. “I want people to know me for me,” he says.

Sometimes his conversations with strangers are brief. They’ll say they know him from somewhere and, in turn, he’ll wish them well and walk away.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

With the NBA lockout in full effect, the common theme within the basketball blogosphere has been how NBA fans will get their fix. While some blogs have toyed with the idea that the players could look to form their own league in the absence of the NBA, the current reports would suggest that a “China Basketball Tour” seem far more likely. Via the Los Angeles Times:

There are preliminary talks about a basketball tour to China this summer — and perhaps beyond — in which the Lakers superstar, who has called China a “home away from home” and has an enormous following there, would be the headliner with several other NBA stars forming two or three barnstorming teams.

Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka are trying to put together the tour, said Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams, who also is represented by Pelinka.”

The current info from, has the Wasserman Media Group, which represents 45 players including NBA MVP Derrick Rose, setting up a basketball tour in China “for a four-team, three city tour that would last in between two and three weeks.”


Andrew Bynum looks great. Despite the NBA Lockout, Bynum is adding stamina, footwork, and keeping in top shape. Anyone else excited to see him next season play … whenever this lockout is over? We can’t wait, either.

[blackbirdpie url=”!/AndrewBynum/status/87558690453987328″]

Photo by Valerie Macon | Getty Images

According to the Xinhua News Agency, longtime Phil Jackson assistant coach Jim Cleamons has found a new job.

Former Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant coach Jim Cleamons had been hired by the Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association league (CBA) on Sunday, local reports said.

“There were several offers from teams of the National Basketball Association (NBA), but Mr. Cleamons finally chose the Guangsha,” Ye said.

Cleamons was drafted by the Lakers back in 1971, and was apart of the team that won an NBA record 33 consecutive games.

He is most known for being Phil Jackson’s right hand man with the Chicago Bulls, and of course being on the bench for all five championships Jackson won with the Lakers.

Cleamons joins Brian Shaw as Phil Jackson’s former assistants that have found work. A week ago Brian Shaw was named the associate coach for the Indiana Pacers.


When he’s not asking for statues, Laker Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spends his quality time gardening, growing fields of regulation sized pumpkins (29.5 inches), then dunking them into basketball hoops. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that any of that’s true — just heard whispers of it floating around.

The only possible way I can vouch for this is my showing you a video.

Kareem looks to be plugging the new album from 90’s rock icons The Smashing Pumpkins. Not quite sure how this came about, but it looks like a strange cross promotion with Pumpkins’ lead singer Billy Corgan promoting Kareem’s movie, On the Shoulders of Giants — which on a side note, is a fantastic flick.

Another video after the jump…

Pictured: Jim Buss - Photo by Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Assistant GM Ronnie Lester has been with the Los Angeles Lakers franchise for the last 24 years. Lester has won eight championships with the Lakers. One as a player, and seven as a member of the Lakers front office.

His current contract expires on June 30th, and the Lakers will say farewell.

According to ESPNLA, On June 30th the Lakers will let go of 20 staffers, including all of the scouts that worked under Lester. There has been little communication between the Lakers and their employees, and their current jobs may or may not be open again down the line.

Lester expressed disappointment on how the Lakers are handling the situation:

“It’s awful funny that the Lakers, one of the highest grossing teams in the league, could do this to their employees, just throw them out in the cold,” Lester said.

It seems all that Lester is asking for is an explanation, and to treat loyal employees with respect:

“The Lakers have not done a good job in communicating that to anybody whose contract has ended,” he said. “Obviously the Lakers don’t want these guys back, don’t want the scouts back, or they would’ve said something in that regard. So I don’t think anybody is coming back. They’ve not treated people well in that regard.” Lester said.

Some may not read too much into Lester’s quotes, shrugging it off as a disgruntled employee.

However, if you have followed the off-season you have seen many instances of a lack of communication on behalf of the Lakers. Jim Buss even admitted that they should have notified Kobe Bryant on their decision to hire Mike Brown, and many have criticized the team on how they dealt with Brian Shaw during and after the hiring process of a new head coach.

Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

It hasn’t been a pleasant week for Lakers star Kobe Bryant. After news broke that he underwent an experimental treatment on his right knee, he now finds himself at the center of a lawsuit.

This time around, a woman (and alleged prostitute) by the name of Selina Miller is making some, well… rather outrageous claims against Bryant. In a recent phone interview, Miller is on record saying that Bryant asked for her hand in marriage, promised her a ring and even completed a signed agreement binding him to those two things.

No, I’m serious. We didn’t fabricate this entire story because we couldn’t figure out what to write about during the lockout. This is really happening…

According to the story first published by the O.C. Register, she continued on and said:

“I’m upset because he promised me a ring, and then some other people influenced him, and I didn’t get it.”

Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images

With the first 24 hours of the NBA lockout nearly in the books, Kobe Bryant may be headed East… far East… and not necessarily for vacation.

The L.A. Times has reported that Kobe Bryant has expressed serious interest in headlining a basketball tour that would likely take place in Shanghai this summer. It’s unclear how the tour would be structured, but it would consist of a series of exhibition games featuring multiple out-of-work NBA players.

Some potential names have included: Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo, Carlos Boozer and… Derek Fisher? I can only speculate that the NBA owners wouldn’t be too thrilled about the President of the NBPA suiting up in China this summer.

One guy not mentioned on that list is Lakers forward Pau Gasol, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t bracing for the worst.

“If there is a lockout, Spain would be [my] first choice [to play next season] — I wouldn’t say [the] only one, but the first.” (via The Associated Press)

David Stern always wanted the NBA to be an international sport, I just don’t think he quite envisioned it happening like this.

Photo by Stephen Dunn | Getty Images

Kobe Bryant has had three knee procedures since 2003, and according to the LA Times he went to Germany last month to try out a new procedure. The innovative procedure could add some new tissue to his troublesome right knee:


Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has taken an unusual step to try to strengthen his ailing right knee, undergoing an innovative procedure in Germany about a month ago, according to four people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The treatment is called platelet-rich plasma therapy. PRP procedures are less invasive than many surgeries involving the knee and are viewed as either an emerging solution to knee problems or a financial gamble on unproven science.

Back in May, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti talked about Kobe’s Knee problem. Vitti said that he has a “articulating cartilage problem” adding that, “Kobe doesn’t have an arthritic knee, but he has a knee that has some joint degeneration to it.”

Only time will tell if the PHP will work for Bryant. Regardless, it looks like Bryant is willing to try new technology, and go to great lengths to preserve his body and continue to play at an elite level.



With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.
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