DALLAS – While he doesn’t particularly care for the Los Angeles Lakers or any other NBA franchise, Mark Cuban has a soft spot for Kobe Bryant.
Thus, when he was asked about the possibility of the Laker guard missing the remainder of this season because of shoulder surgery, Cuban didn’t hide his disappointment.
"I think it’s sad, it’s ashamed,’’ Cuban said Friday. "I like Kobe.
"He’s a warrior and it’ll be interesting to watch him come back again.
His Bryant is one of the NBA’s marquee players, his absence will hit the league in the pocketbook.
"Kobe is one of the last guys that hasn’t played to an empty seat,’’ Cuban said. "It makes a big difference to the small market teams, and the Lakers obviously’’
Bryant broke into the NBA in 1996 and is 36 years old. Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, meanwhile broke into the NBA in 1978 and is 36 years old.
Do the series of injuries that has engulfed Bryant in recent years make Cuban think of Nowitzki’s mortality?
"Totally different games,’’ Cuban said. "You don’t see Dirk do a whole lot of reverse jams.
"Dirk doesn’t try to go up for an alley-oop (dunks). Dirk goes up for an alley under and worry about tripping over the line.’’