EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant said he felt like himself after his first team practice in about 10 months as the Los Angeles Lakers opened training camp on Tuesday under new coach Byron Scott.

"I felt normal. I felt like myself," Bryant said. "That's a good thing."

Bryant practiced for the first two hours and 15 minutes of the Lakers' three-hour practice. He sat out the final 45 minutes and sat alongside Steve Nash, who practiced for the first 90 minutes.

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James Harden: World Cup made him better, looks forward to 2016 (October 01, 2014)
Jenny Dial Creech [ Source: Chron.com ]

James Harden said his World Cup experience made him a better player and is looking forward to 2016 Olympics. (Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle)

On the first day of Rockets training camp, guard James Harden was still glowing from his FIBA World Cup win.

Harden, one of the members of the United States gold medalist team, played basketball for a big chunk of the offseason, but said that he felt fresh and healthy as camp started.

He also feels like a better basketball player. Harden said he grew in his experience this summer.

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Stanley Pringle of Globalport during the 2014 PBA Rookie Draft. ABS-CBN NEWS PHOTO

MANILA, Philippine – First overall rookie draft pick Stanley Pringle is making gains in his practices with PBA team GlobalPort.

The 6-foot-1 former ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) player reported that things are working out quite well as far as their tune-up games are concerned.

The Pido Jarencio-mentored GlobalPort held the Changwon LG Sakers to a 78-78 deadlock and blasted the Kuwait national team, 71-49, in the following tune-up.

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San Miguel Beer's June Mar Fajardo goes to the basket against Rain or Shine in this file photo. Photo by Mark Cristino

MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Beermen are slowly but surely learning the system of new head coach Leo Austria, although they still have a long way to go, especially with star center JuneMar Fajardo still with the national team.

Austria took over the head coaching duties in the offseason after the Beermen slumped to another subpar campaign despite having one of the most talented line-ups in the league, as well as the PBA MVP in Fajardo.

"So far, we're doing well in implementing the system that I want, especially on defense," Austria said, as quoted by the PBA website. "I'm very particular on our defense. I want them to play according to the system, not through the individual defense nila."

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Matthew Ganuelas Rosser of Talk 'N Text. InterAksyon.com/Ver Marquez

On some of his jerseys, the name on the back says ‘Ganuelas’, on others ‘Rosser’.

When he steps onto the PBA floor as a member of the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, rookie Matt Ganuelas Rosser wants to pay tribute to both of his names and have ‘Ganuelas Rosser’ spelled out in full.

“When I first came here and played for the national team, I had to use Ganuelas. Now I want to use both in tribute to both names,” he told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview.

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NBA

With LeBron James back in uniform, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to win more games than any other team, according to one Las Vegas sports book.

But it's close.

The Westgate SuperBook posted its NBA season win totals Tuesday. The SuperBook opened the Cavaliers' season win total at 58.5. The Oklahoma City Thunder (57.5), defending champion San Antonio Spurs (56.5), Chicago Bulls (55.5), Los Angeles Clippers (55.5) and Golden State Warriors (50.5) also are projected to win 50-plus games.

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D-League

MANILA, Philippines – PBA commissioner Chito Salud and the league chair Patrick Gregorio are to meet with their counterparts with the Korean Basketball League Thursday to look for possible areas of cooperation or tie-ups.

Salud sought the meeting to make the most of their Seoul visit.

“We're reaching out with our Asian counterparts,” said Gregorio.

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PBA slates 10-month, 3-conference season (October 01, 2014)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

D-League

SEOUL, South Korea—The Philippine Basketball Association will have a 10-month season starting Oct. 19 as it accommodates a 12-team field that will play three long conferences beginning with the Philippine Cup.

The league’s board of governors unanimously approved the Oct. 19 to Aug. 7 schedule that will have games scheduled at least four times a week, sometimes five, when out-of-town games are slated on Saturdays.

After the Philippine Cup—the most prestigious title staked every year—the import-flavored Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cups will be played where imports of unlimited height will be allowed for the tail-ending four teams.

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Alapag to Chot bashers: It's unfair criticism (October 01, 2014)
Alder Almo [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Jimmy Alapag and Chot Reyes. PHILIPPINE STAR PHOTO

INCHEON, South Korea – Gilas Pilipinas team captain Jimmy Alapag finally broke his silence following the turn of events that led to their disappointing finish in the 17th Asian Games here.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes took full responsibility of all the decisions made in the tournament and as expected, drew the biggest flak. With the call to resign mounting from outraged fans and critics online, Alapag came to his coach's defense.

"It's unfair criticism. Obviously, the result here in Korea wasn't what we had planned. We were hopeful to compete for the gold medal. But again a lot of unexpected things happened, from Andray's eligibility issue, to having Marcus back after pretty much two to three months layoff, and on top of that the injuries,” Alapag told Philstar.com on Tuesday.

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Jimmy Butler wants to stay in Chicago but is focusing on basketball. "I grew up without money," he said. "I think I'll be all right for a couple more days." Andrew Richardson/USA Today

CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler is hoping to stay in Chicago.

The swingman made that clear after Tuesday's first practice as the Bulls' front office and Butler's agent, Happy Walters, continue to try to hammer out an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline.

"I want to be here," Butler said. "I think the Bulls want me here. So however long it takes, as long as we get it worked out. Basketball is my main focus, not really the contract situation."

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