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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers say improving Kobe Bryant could return for preseason

07.19.13 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Rockies, 8:30 p.m. (WGN)
Soccer: Liga MX, Morella vs. Queretaro, 8:25 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cycling: Tour de France, 6 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 4 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kobe Bryant isn't sure the Lakers have the answers. (AP)

Lakers star Kobe Bryant is working his way back from a torn Achilles. (AP)

Kobe Bryant, who last week expressed optimism about his recovery from a torn Achilles he suffered during the playoffs in April, might be back even earlier than expected.

“I would bet a lot of money on him coming back in the preseason,” Lakers vice president Jim Buss said Thursday in an interview with NBA TV at the Las Vegas Summer League (via the Los Angeles Times). “He’s going to come back when he is right. I see him coming back at the beginning of this season.”

Following the departure of Dwight Howard (free agent) and Metta World Peace (amnesty waiver), the Lakers are in need of a boost. An early return from Bryant would provide just that.

For what it’s worth, commissioner David Stern rejected a suggestion that the Lakers are conceding that they’re in for another long season.

“I expect that the Lakers aren’t thinking about the premise of your question, which implies that they’re not going to do better next year than they did the last year,” Stern told reporters in Las Vegas. “I don’t want to speculate beyond that, but I can tell you that’s not the basis upon which the Lakers are functioning. They expect to have a much better year.”

Josh Brent retired from the Cowboys as he prepares to face an intoxication manslaughter charge in the car crash that caused the death of teammate and close friend Jerry Brown.

Brent, 25, has not played since the Dec. 8 accident. He was placed on the reserve non-football injury list at the end of last season. He is free on bond, despite twice testing positive for marijuana.

“I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order,” Brent said in a statement from the team. “Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do.”

Team owner Jerry Jones said he remains supportive of Brent.

“I promised Jerry’s mother that we would support Josh in every way we could,” Jones said. “That’s been our only thought since the accident is to support him and support our team in their support of him.”

♦ Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, a well-known Mets fan, expressed his disappointment with fellow fans at Citi Field who booed some of baseball’s best players during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

“This is one of the lowest moments of my lifetime of Mets fandom, when the Citi Field crowd was booing [players] that they see as rivals to their Mets team,” Seinfeld said in an interview with New York sports radio station WFAN (via CBS 2 New York). “And I’m standing there, I was in shock. I was embarrassed. I thought it was horrible manners. … These are the best players, in the game you love, that have come here to put on a show for you, and we’re booing them like 5-year-olds. As if there’s some sort of real animosity.”

“The American League is not the Taliban,” he added. “What are we booing Miguel Cabrera [for]? … So, I was very embarrassed by that.”

On the positive side, Seinfeld said he was happy to see the stadium show some class late in the game toward a crosstown rival.

“I felt redeemed by the reception that we gave Mariano Rivera,” Seinfeld said, “and that brilliantly staged farewell.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 19, 1933, when the Red Sox played the Senators, brothers on opposing teams hit home runs for the first time in major league history. Who were the brothers (who later teamed up on the Sox)?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It may be difficult, because the things that were said, some of these things were so below the belt. Maybe you can blame Dan Shaughnessy for that. … It’s about the book. There’s not much more to say about that.” – Red Sox owner John Henry, during Thursday’s interview with Mut & Merloni, describing his fractured relationship with former Sox manager Terry Francona

STAT OF THE DAY: $60 million – Amount in settlement money Penn State has approved thus far for victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, with more expected when additional agreements are reached

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Nuggets forward Jordan Hamilton has a wardrobe malfunction during summer league play in Las Vegas.

Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt leaps 59 1/2 inches in the box jump.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Red Sox catcher Rick Ferrell and Nationals pitcher Wes Ferrell, who was traded to Boston after the 1933 season

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Alan Gorrie, bassist, keyboardist and singer for the Average White Band, was born on this day in 1946.

Read More: Jerry Seinfeld, Josh Brent, kobe bryant,