LOS ANGELES – The snow was falling in Bismarck, N.D., and Julius Hodge was channeling his inner-Rocky Balboa.
Seeking every edge in his conditioning, Hodge braced against the cold and started running laps around the budget hotel where he and the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League were housed for three days last week.
It was a far different scene Friday in Los Angeles as Hodge rode the Nuggets team bus from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in sunny Marina del Rey to the Staples Center.
Hodge ended the night with 4 points, 6 assists, 0 turnovers, 2 steals and played extraordinary defense on Kobe Bryant. Bryant only had 8 points and only took 9 shots.