Kobe Bryant says he would vote Houston’s James Harden for MVP over Warriors’ Stephen Curry

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was in Napa on Wednesday as a luxury watch brand ambassador and spent time talking about the NBA’s MVP award with The Insider.

The votes have already been cast for MVP, and the announcement is expected to come in the next week. Asked who the award goes to this season, Bryant mentioned the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden.

“That’s a tough call, man,” Bryant said. “You’ve got James, who’s been playing consistently all season and  Steph, who’s been doing phenomenal things.”

Bryant won the MVP in 2008, and asked who he would vote for, he said, “That’s a tough call for me, but I would have to say James.”


Warriors’ Draymond Green after an emotional day focuses on team and says, ‘I had a great day’

NEW ORLEANS – Draymond Green peered over a group of reporters and in the midst of a jubilant locker room his eyes met those of teammate Marreese Speights.

“I already shouted you out, playa,” Green told Speights, smiling. “I’m good at throwing lobs, you know what I’m saying? Don’t even worry about it, big dawg. I got you. My man!”

Indeed Green had praised Speights earlier for grabbing an offensive rebound that led to Stephen Curry’s game-tying 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left in regulation in the Warriors’ improbable 123-119 first-round playoff win against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I’ll remember Mo’s rebound though to give Steph that shot,” Green said. “That’s what I’ll remember.

“There’s no three without that big rebound he came up with.”

Green passed the credit around on a day when he woke up to some disappointing news for him personally. He learned by reading a notification on his phone that he had finished second to San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard in the voting for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

Green congratulated Leonard in his comments before Game 3, telling reporters it wasn’t the end of the world because he remained in the playoff hunt and could become an NBA champion.

By the end of the game, Green had collected 12 points, 17 rebounds and five assists before fouling out in the ultimate team win as the Warriors came back from 20 points down in the fourth quarter.

Assessing his day, Green couldn’t help but smile thinking about all his team had achieved. Never mind the individual award.

“It’s a great day for me,” Green said. “All that other stuff is for the birds. I had a great day.”


Warriors 97, Pelicans 87: Fans at Oracle Arena play starring role in Game 2 win

OAKLAND – Anthony Davis is looking forward to going back to New Orleans and in front of the Pelicans’ fans after Warriors fans made things difficult in Game 2.

“Our crowd is going to be just like this crowd, if not better,” Davis said before laughing a little at what he had just said.

Yeah, the crowd at Oracle Arena really is at times unmatched during the Warriors’ 97-87 win in Game 2 of the first-round playoff series.

“Not that can you top this, though,” Davis said. “This is pretty hectic in here.”

Hectic is one way to describe it. Really, the crowd was hellacious.

Fans showed their knowledge of the day’s events after Pelicans coach Monty Williams wondered aloud about the legality of the noise levels at the arena. They drowned out the Pelicans during starting lineup introductions. They were a menace even as the Warriors got off to a slow start, waiting for their moment to explode.

None of this was unexpected, and the Pelicans knew it was coming after Williams had thrown out his two cents.

The Warriors ate it up.

“At one point, it got so loud you couldn’t hear the whistle,” center Andrew Bogut said. “That’s what we want. We love our fans and the atmosphere they provide. We wouldn’t want to play anywhere else in the world.”