“As Unstoppable as a Woman’s Tears”

Gatinho —  January 23, 2006

A game like last night’s makes me wish that Jim Murray, legendary Times columnists, was still alive to immortalize it with his brilliant ability to capture a moment.

The above title is how Jim described Elgin Baylor in his playing days and seems more than apropos for last night’s stupefying performance.

Runners, floaters, threes, fade-aways, dunks, free throws… Was it the Raptor defense? It was if you’re talking about guys named Odom, Parker, George, and Vujacic.

Zone defense: As in, “Kobe’s in a zone, where’s the defense?”

Use the Force: I’ve pondered keeping track of how may times Kobe “forced” shots in a game. I’ve always thought it’s not how much he shoots, it’s how he shoots, i.e. within the offense. That all quickly flew out the window. What exactly is a forced shot on a night like last night?

A little insight: On Wilt’s big night, it is rumored that the promoter for the game in Hershey wanted Wilt, with the collusion/cooperation of his teammates, to try to get as many points as possible.

His 78 point game was a triple overtime affair.

David Thompson’s 73 came as he was locked in a last night of the season scoring battle with George Gervin.

David Robinson had 9 guys (your Los Angeles Clippers) helping him eclipse 70, so he could overtake a young Shaquille O’Neal on the final night of the season for the scoring crown.

None of these things can be said about Kobe’s Herculian feat. No premeditation. No help from the other team. No scoring title on the line. No sideshow atmosphere of a game played in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Just willing his listless team to a W.

I’m sure Murray and Chick were sitting in the Big Forum Club in the Sky, sharing a smile and a chuckle, spouting desriptions and insights we all wish we were still privy to.

It will resonate in your head for a long time to come. 81 points.

Gatinho

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4 responses to “As Unstoppable as a Woman’s Tears”

  1. Simply awesome. But you can’t take anything away from Wilt’s 100 or Elgin’s record 71pts. Wilt was dominant and has more 60plus games than anyone, Elgin was like Kobe without the 3pt line incorporated yet, Jordan’s 69 was with overtime. But Bill Russell has 10 championships and isn’t even close to scoring points like that. I think Kobe would rather have another championship to legitimize his will to win rather than just score. Dominque Wilkins comes to mind that was a tremendous athlete and scorer but it didn’t win him any championships. I don’t think Kobe wants to go down like that.
    Now if Mihm could stay out of foul trouble, Kwame be able to hit a midrange jumper and finish at the hoop, Smush be consistent and play solid defense and Lamar develope a killer instinct the Lakers would be able to hang with Detroit and San Antonio.
    The bench needs to step up as well. Devean needs to play with energy, Walton needs to be like Rick Fox and learn to play solid defense and hit the open jumper, Sasha needs to play his role and not try to do too much.
    They need a healthy Turiaf at 6-10 can provide need muscle underneath and mckie veteran leadership to make the intangible plays.
    Plus with an addition of a bonafide player like Artest could make this team a legitmate contender.
    A huge things to do list for sure but acheivable in the next couple years. I’ll accept the growing pains now cause we know Buss wants to win. Who knows maybe Bynum might surprise us and legitimizes the center position. I’m sure Buss & Phil didn’t bring in Kareem, Scottie P, Craig Hodges, Tex Winter, B Shaw, Kurt Rambis etc to just be mediocre. They all just need to piece it all together. Mitch kupchak has gone quite grey since he took this job. We’ll see if he can live up to West’s credentials.

  2. chris henderson January 23, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    yeah…wish list
    if only McKie could be like Ron Harper, (or even B. Shaw)
    if only Lamar could be like Pippen
    if Ronnie Turiaf could become the next “Iron Man, AC Green”, (or even Clark Kent Rambis)
    iif Mihm and Andrew could be like Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    if Kwame could be like Ben Wallace
    if Smuch could be like the other Parker, (Tony)
    and then Kobe could be like…Kobe

    we still need a defensive specialist like Michael Cooper…Artest?…not sure

    and it’s starting to feel like the good ol’ days

  3. Well TO take away from Wilt, Hollinger put things in perspective if you have an ESPN.com INsider account. The short version is all things being not equal, this was the equivalent of Kobe dropping 135 in Wilt’s game. Vice versa, Wilt’s game was comparable to 69 today.

    As far as your list to do, impossible. Kobe’s play highlights how AWFUL this team is. A team shouldn’t need someone to go off for 45+ a night just to keep them in the game, let alone NEED 80 to beat the Raptors. Smush couldn’t MAKE most NBA teams let alone get minutes or start. Odom might be the most overrated player in the game right now. Odom is not and will never be Kobe’s Pippen. It should be beginning to concern even true believers that they havent moved him yet for Artest…if Odom’s own play hasn’t already shut the door on that deal. Kwame is…well no need to kick someone when they live in the gutter. Chris Mihm is the 3rd best center named Chris in the city. Good thing that motley crew has Kobe to make them look like they belong in the NBA. I count 1 player who could start for all teams, 1 for most, 1 for many and 2 who wouldn’t even make most squads. The bench is pathetic, I mean if you can’t beat the likes of Smush, Kwame or Mihm for a starting gig, where does that put you? And thats just this year. The 2007 plan was busted in 2005.

    Its officially the morning after and its time to take stock. Don’t be fooled. Maybe being from LA Im spoiled and my expectations are too high. I don’t know. Dr. Buss absolutely made the right decision “between” Shaq and Kobe, but since then, ghastly. Kobe is the best player in the world, but this team is awful and will be awful for the forseeable future unless something drastic is done.

  4. Several things.

    1) Anyone who can “translate” a 100 point game from yesteryear to 69 points today is smoking some great weed. Especially from someone that never played at that level. One thing these “pundits” always forget. If Wilt were around today, he would have access to todays training methods, ergo he would be that more imposing. Many people do not know what an all-around athlete he was. He beat Jim Brown in 100 yd dash. He was incredible.

    2) Kobe is not interested in winning, he is interested in scoring. If he was interested in winning he would not try and setup games where he can come back big in the 4th. Kobe is intersted in great moments, not the win/loss record. Kobe is interested in Kobe. As a long time laker fan, I acknowledge his skills and lament his presence. I can hardly wait till he is gone. Shaq was lazy, Kobe is (indeed) Wilks reborn and should be traded to Atlanta so he could continue the legacy.

    3) One can not truly judge the players around kobe as they are playing “submerssed”, at the will of kobe’s desires. How motivated would you be when you know the goal is not team ball or to win, but to make kobe look good. These guys are (or at least should be) studs, they don’t like holding anyones jock strap.

    4) Please trade kobe, for anyone, heck, cut him! Lets build a team. Not a one man highlight real. I can get that on ESPN. I don’t need it at my home court.

    .. and last, nice to see the positive comments from some of the long time fans. Much more refreshing than this old geezers take.