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Kyrie Irving wants out from under LeBron's shadow, similar to how Kobe Bryant wanted to be the leading man after several years with Shaq. While Bryant has scoffed at the idea he's influencing Kyrie, there are many parallels between the two players. Irving's career numbers are eerily similar to that of Bryant's at the time the Lakers traded Shaq back in 2004. And perhaps Kyrie should be careful what he wishes for. In the 3 seasons following the Shaq trade, Kobe Bryant averaged a league-leading 31.8 points per game while winning 2 scoring titles, but his Lakers didn't make it past the 1st Round in any of those 3 years. It wasn't until help came in the form of the Pau Gasol trade that Kobe and the Lakers returned to their winning ways.

Jonathan Selvaraj ESPN 

Quite appropriately for KD, a welcome basketball post made of chocolate standing six foot nine inches (or is it closer to seven feet)

Jayaditya Gupta Executive Editor 

Kevin Durant's in the house! He moved as quickly across the hotel lobby as he does on court, ducking to avoid the low-hanging lights. Just a glimpse of that tattooed left leg but there's two days to go.

Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA

The third year of Pau Gasol's 3-year, $48 million deal with the Spurs is partially guaranteed for $6.7 million, league sources tell ESPN.

ESPN Staff  

Matthew Dellavedova on Kyrie Irving's trade request: "When I woke up to that news, I was surprised." He added he felt Kyrie and LeBron James always got on fine as teammates.

ESPN Staff  

Matthew Dellavedova, back in Melbourne, says he thinks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo could soon become the best player in the league.

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Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA

The final two years of Alan Williams's 3-year, $17 million deal with the Suns are fully non-guaranteed, league sources tell ESPN.