Monday, May 08, 2006

23 > 8 (and 24).

Well, you can stop the MJ comparisons now.

There is a ton of uncertainty surrounding Kobe after he took only three shots in the second half of the Lakers/Suns Game 7, but one thing is now abundantly clear. He's not the next Michael Jordan.

Anyone even vaguely familiar with basketball knows exactly what would have happened if that would have been MJ wearing that purple number 8 Friday night. MJ would have lit Raja Bell up for 55 and advanced his team to the playoffs, strategy be damned. He would have owned Raja Bell, to the point that it was better for the Suns that Raja not even be in the game. Even if Phil had MJ convinced he needed to involve his teammates, MJ would have scored his and found a way to get the W. Its as simple as that.

What was Kobe thinking, shooting only three times in the second half? Sure, he scored 23 in the first and all it got his team was a 15-point hole. But the main reason the Lakers were down by so many was because no one in a Laker uniform could throw in the ocean. (Well, that and that fact that their defense was biddy-league bad. I mean, the pick and roll D was pointless; whoever set the screen knew they were getting a layup. All they had to worry about was choosing between layup or dunk, because the help D was no where to be found. And Leondro Barbosa dribbled through the Laker defense without being even mildly challenged. If Smush Parker is on an NBA roster next season, consider me stunned.) What better time to start gunning than when everyone one of your teammates can't buy a bucket? Sometimes Plan A doesn't work. There is a reason for Plan B, yes?

And yea, I understand that the Lakers probably weren't going to win unless they got above average contributions from a number of people, and they weren't getting them. But it was the way Kobe went about not shooting that was troublesome. He almost looked disinterested, like it was a lost cause not worth his time or energy. Why not penetrate a little, get some teammates some easy buckets? Why not post up, force a double team and get some open looks from 3? Why not try to create some offense yourself? WHY NOT SHOOT OH, I DON'T KNOW, FOUR TIMES? For all intents and purposes, Kobe became a role guy, someone to reverse the ball: he wasn't even a threat. Total FGAs isn't the problem; the reason for the low FGAs is.

So Kobe isn't the next MJ. Big deal. He's not the greatest player ever to touch a ball - doesn't mean he still isn't great. But it makes you wonder what exactly motivates Kobe.

Kobe, at least to me, seems very sensitive. He has said nearly every time he's been asked that Raja Bell doesn't concern him. Kobe "has bigger fish to fry" and he "can score on Raja any times he wants" and he doesn's consider him in the same class as an Artest or a Bowen. But you know what? We know that, Kobe. Really we do. We heard you the first time - and every time after that. We know you can score whenever. We know you are better than Raja Bell. Just do it then, alright? You sound like someone who claims they are over an ex, but then won't stop talking about how much they hate them. If he's not big deal, why talk about him to such an extent? Thou protest a bit too much, Bean.

What about his Raja Bell comments? Calling him "this kid" and "maybe he wasn't hugged enough as a kid." What are you talking about? I get that you are trying to demean him, but resorting to calling out his, necessary? Kobe's life was so hug filled, apparently, in between his pickup games on the streets of Philly, where, he delighted in telling us time and time again, he grew up and played in some brutal pickup games. The games were so brutal, apparently, that Raja's take down of Kobe was nothing, at least not to him. I just find myself wondering where Kobe found time for these games on the playground while being raised in Europe?

And his reaction to the chant from the Suns' crowd was even more telling. When the fan's started an impromptu "Kobe sucks!" chant, Kobe held up a cupped hand to his ear and made a frowning face, implying, "What? I can't hear you." But the message he sent was just the opposite. Everyone knew Kobe heard it loud and clear, and everyone saw just thow much it bothered him. When does a player ever acknowledge boos or negative chants? Ever? Why give the fans that kind of fire power?

Kobe just seems way to sensitive. Every little thing bothers him. And I don't know why this bothers me so much - maybe because of how damned good he is, and how much I want to like him, but just can't. I really do try to like him, and I think he's the best player on whatever court he steps on. But his sensitivy kills me. Its unbearable. And he's so contrived, I can't stand it.

Alright, that's it. That's the last thing I'm writing about Kobe Bean Bryant. Until next season, at least.

2 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

JustinPage said...

....the main reason the Lakers were down by so many was because no one in a Laker uniform could throw in the ocean. Well, that and that fact that their defense was biddy-league bad....

Lakers played with no heart, no emotion, which led to no DEFENSE....the whole team did not contest ANYTHING. If the Lakers shot 60 percent in that game, they would of still lost. The defense was that bad, it was unlike anything I've ever seen. Who gave up in this game? Well a few come to mind. Lamar Odom fouling guys in the face on purpose...he put on a sad face mid-way through the first because he missed a few shots, yet he claims he's going to "watch this game over and over during the summer." Hey Lamar don't waste your time, just watch the last ten seconds of game six where that rebound goes right by your lazy ass. Smush Parker quit, did you see this guy fight through a screen ONE time? One? Kwame quit...he got pissed that dart he calls a shot wasn't falling, so he fouls, lets people get rebounds, and plays absolutely no defense whatsover. Devean George, he comes into the game, dude he's defending lays the ball in. Next possession he fouls...yet when the camera pans in on him, he's laughing. Are you kidding me? We are down 17 points and your laughing. Go home. Phil Jackson, your lazy too, and you quit, get off your ass and say something, anything. If your going to say Kobe quit, these five guys HAVE to be mentioned too.

....What was Kobe thinking, shooting only three times in the second half?...

I don't care if your initials are MJ, your not winning a game when you get that kind of defense and offensive production out of your teammates. Maybe he was thinking, "what we were doing didn't work in the first half...I've got 23, and we're down 15. Let's pound it inside like we did to get a 3-1 series lead, and get some guys going."

...Raja Bell...

If he puts a hit like that on any other player, hes labeled the dirtiest player in the league, PERIOD. Did you watch the interview with Bryant during the game Saturday night, or didn't they show that on Sportscenter? Kobe gets asked about this dude constantly and he takes the high road, while Raja calls him names like a little kid, yet Kobe's the bad guy? Don't get that.

....When does a player ever acknowledge boos or negative chants? Ever? ...

In the NBA? Never, Ever. Your right. Never saw something like that. Craziness. Absurd. Pisses me off. Lost the game.

rockchalkin said...

and just for the record....lebron needs to grow up...anyone that puts his hands on another man like that needs to get slapped....

oh wait...the pistons are taking care of that in 4