Posts tagged ‘Kobe Bryant’

June 11, 2008

Simply put; More is expected

Last night I witnessed one of the most unsatisfying victories I have ever witnessed as a Laker fan. Don’t get me wrong, I will take it but man did that game make me nervous. The reason? It has been three games already and Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol are yet to show up.

In game 3, Odom had more fouls (5) and turnovers (also 5), than points (4). Pau did get 9 points and 12 rebounds but it really didn’t feel that way as he once again appeared soft and unsure. What worries me is that last night’s game was basically the most important game in their lives thus far and yet they couldn’t even get up for it. If not last night, then when?

Odom needs to become that guy that the other team can’t guard. Paul Pierce can’t cover him and neither can Kendrick Perkins. Gasol is at least tied up with Kevin Garnett who is more athletic and stronger than him. However, the kicker is that Odom cannot be effective unless Gasol is being a force. Odom gets his licks in by playing off of Gasol.

Therefore the key to Odom finding his game, is Gasol finding his. How can the Lakers acheive this? Well, strangely missing from the Lakers’ game last night was the pick and roll between Kobe and Gasol. This might be because Kobe was so aggressive that he kept attacking and a lot of iso plays were run for him. I would go back to it to start game 4 as a way to get Gasol up and rolling. The Celtics have not been able to defend it effectively and they won’t be able to this time either. This would get Gasol some buckets and get his confidence soaring. More importantly, it would establish Gasol as a force and create space for Odom to be dominant.

Advertisements
April 24, 2008

The Power of Sports

Here at the round table, we are all about bringing change and positively affecting the world in one way or another. So when I found this article on ESPN.com, I simply knew I had to share. Afterall, this is what it is all about. Some of Lee Garston and Christina Piranio’s story is highlighted by this youtube video . Amazingly, the article got no love on ESPN. Articles about athletes behaving badly or getting traded or other useless information stay on the front page and are viewed and commented a lot. We just have things backwards these days.

I got to watch Kobe Bryant do his thing last night. 49 points and10 assists and it looked like he did it all without even exerting himself. It was almost like I saw it coming at halftime. I watched his halftime interview and Craig Sager asked him if he was going to change anything when Kenyon Martin came off the bench and got on him again? Craig was trying to point out that Martin was their ace defender and was bigger than Kobe so technically should give him problems. Kobe responded by saying something that as a Laker fan I have come to know as vintage Kobe. “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it is Kenyon Martin or anybody else”. I remember believing him. I remember thinking that if this were any other player, I’d wonder if they weren’t putting their foot in their mouth. With Kobe, it just fits. You get the sense that he always has more tricks up his sleeves. Then he went out there and proved it by racking up assists and the rest of his 49 points. I just can’t imagine anyone else in the league being able to say that with such confidence and know he would back it up.

Having said that, can anyone else explain why J.R. Smith would try to rile him up? What was the purpose of that? It only got Kobe angrier and turned Smith into a victim as Kobe got by him on the next possession, scoring and getting fouled on an and 1 play. Why, J.R.? Take it from the man himself; “Better learn not to talk to me,” Bryant said. “You shake the tree, a leopard’s gonna fall out.” Indeed.

March 15, 2008

NBA MVP. Kobe over Lebron

Sometime last week my brother took the time to call me up. He was in a panic. He had this to say; ESPN is starting to hype up Lebron James over Kobe for M.V.P. I assured him that it wasn’t going to happen. I told him that ESPN was only hyping LBJ because he had just dropped 50 points the day before. Don’t get me wrong, Lebron is a worthy candidate but I don’t think he should be given M.V.P over Kobe Bryant or even Chris Paul.

Everytime it was Kobe’s turn to win M.V.P, the media has come up with some reason not to give it to him. My favorite one is the ever popular; “he is the best player in the world but he isn’t the most valuable player”. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t M.V.P supposed to be handed to the best player? All those years Jordan was winning them, was he the best at making his teammates better? Wasn’t it just his pure dominance, his motion that was straight poetry and his charisma off the court. In fact, didn’t Jordan’s team do pretty well without him when he went off to play baseball?

Don’t even get me started on this myth of making your teammates better. It is more like working with your teammates and not making them better. You are a team so by playing your role you are making the team work. Your teammates make themselves better by putting in work and in turn you trust them with the ball. No amount of passing is going to make a person make a wide open shot unless they have practiced that shot by themself. Yet this was the rationale given for wresting it away from Kobe all this time.

To show how inconsistent this award is, Steve Nash won it two times in a row and then went ahead and posted better numbers than he had those two years but it was given to someone else. Why? Well they just didn’t want to give it to him three years in a row. The M.V.P should just go back to being what it used to be; the best player that season and not a popularity contest. It isn’t Mr. Congeniality or M.L.P (Most Liked Player).

This season, Kobe has become the leader that he supposedly wasn’t all those years. He has drastically reduced his shot attempts and is averaging more assists. However, the mistake that most people are making is assuming that more assists means he is passing the ball more. Kobe had always passed the ball. The difference is that his teammates are making those shots on a consistent basis. He is also very tenacious on defense when he is locked in and he is playing with an injury that would otherwise require surgery. Input the fact that he is still the best player in the league (Lebron being a close second) and he should be a run away winner. Why shouldn’t Lebron win it? Well because Lebron’s team is in the Eastern Conference and still isn’t doing as well as Kobe’s. Look how tough the West is and don’t even bother comparing it with the east. Game over.