Things I don’t get

Kurt —  May 8, 2006

Who are these people coming out of the woodwork to complain that Kobe didn’t single-handedly beat the Suns in game seven? The suggestions that he “gave up” border on idiocy.

Remember the Laker wins in the series? How did those happen? Kobe shared the ball, Kwame and Odom posted up well, Smush and Walton were hitting their looks and Kobe could pick his spots. Spots like the end of game four. Remember how you mainstream media guys were all were praising Kobe for that?

Now, let’s look at game six, when Kobe did put up big numbers and the Lakers could not beat the Suns despite the Suns not having their best defender. The other Lakers fell short and Kobe could only carry them so far. The lessons were pretty clear — Kobe can’t single handedly win a series and bet the Suns.

Now we get to game seven and Kwame is 2 of 8, the Laker front line is 13 of 37 from the floor. The Suns were not going to let Kobe beat them, but the sacrifice they made for that was to give Kwame, Smush, Walton and others some good looks. They didn’t step up. Kobe and Phil are smart enough to know that Kobe was not going to get the chance to put up 81 — the other guys had to do it and they couldn’t.

If you are laying that game 7 loss at Kobe’s feet alone then you 1) were just looking to blast Kobe; 2) are a sports-talk-radio guy (or wanna be) trying to fill the phone lines; 3) just don’t know basketball. Take your pick.

to Things I don’t get

  1. Vescey bashes Barkley for bashing Kobe.

    Curiouser and curiouser…


  2. I guess the Sports Reporters on ESPN did the same thing (I don’t watch the show). The great freedarko was all over it:


  3. Kurt-

    I know where you’re coming from. But I would leave the door open just a little that not all of those people are insane, because of this: how is it that Kobe makes his teammates great from time to time? By working his ass off to get them open, with the ball, where they are in a position to do somethig with it. He did some of that. But it seemed to me as I watched (I’d like to watch it all again) that he could have done more of that in game seven. I’m not convinced he did everything he could to help the team. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t.


  4. The Kobe love was too hot not to cool down.

    Money Smith wondering out loud
    in the post game talk show didn’t help.

    Though he certainly has a right to say how he feels,
    it drew like-minded responses and the squeak
    of bandwagon axels was too much.

    I’m on my sports show moratorium
    through the second round as the teams slug it out,
    though I’m rather sure that the eventual “eliminees”
    will all “valiantly contest but ultimately succumb to
    a superior team” no matter how badly they get rung up.

    I must say that the playoffs have something
    for everyone, hoopsters and hypesters alike,
    casual fans and angstmeisters that bleed
    their team’s colors and swear that their squad
    gets no national respect, coattail riders
    and jock talk bloviators
    ( not on this site of course )

    offensive purists who love the running
    and the trespunto ball,
    defensive purists who like low scores and close games

    and coaches-on-the-couch who on alternating days
    declare that Jackson or Popovich or D’Antoni or Riley
    are either the greatest or most overrated coaches
    of “all time”

    ( and how many tumblers of Cassell Cherry Kool-Aid
    will you have chugged after hearing the phrase
    “_______ of all time” by the end of the finals?
    Hint– better move your big plasma flatscreen
    close to the lavatory now. )

    – 5 –


  5. Though Ive been told I can go to hell, I don’t think I criticized Kobe’s shot selection in game 6. Or in the 81-point game. In fact I’ve done pretty much nothing all season (long before most of Lakergrounds found your blog) but back the fact that the only reason the Lakers have anything going ever is Kobe and there is nothing wrong with him being that. But can’t you see that its a little strange that he didn’t at least TRY to gun them back into it at some point? What about those 35 footers in the OT of game 6? He heaves and makes a few of those and the Suns crap their pants REGARDLESS of the current deficit.

    I’m not saying he did it on purpose. I’m not saying he didn’t do it on purpose. I don’t know his motivations and really I don’t care. But the result is unusual at best and definitely worthy of question considering we know he has had his prove a point games before.

    I’m not laying the loss at his feet either. The Suns were the superior team and if not for significant help from the offificals this series should have been over a week ago. I’m just saying an objective look at Kobe’s effort in the second half, not just that he passed the ball but what he did once he passed it which was stand and watch, is worthy of question.

    Look, we saw it in Clippers/Lakers game 2 or 3. The Lakers were way down and Kobe hits 3’s on like 4 out of 5 of the next possessions. Just walks it up and guns it and single-handedly put the Lakers back in the game. Why didn’t he at least try in Game 7? This is why with Kobe on the floor the game is never over. Once he STOPPED being that Kobe the game was over, and not before.


  6. of course it’s not all kobe’s fault, not even mostly. but when the game looked like it was starting to REALLY get away in that third quarter, i was all for him forcing the issue a bit more. not jacking up fallaway 35 foot chucks with a guyin his shorts, but like henry says, doing everything he could to find a way to get open and do more himself, penetrate and involve some teammates in some easy shot opportunities or take some kobe shots.

    doubtful things would’ve turned out different. but a few easy opportunities may have built some confidence and relaxation up in the rest of the troops.


  7. Skip Bayless infuriates me with his lack of any kind of knowledge what so ever about basketball.

    How does he compare the Suns sans-Nash to the Lakers-sans Kobe. I’ve never seen something more ridiculous, laying the blame on Kobe for the losses in 5,6, and 7. Kobe’s single best game was in 7 in the first half, when he completely tore it down with an amazing shooting percentage.. and they were STILL behind by double digits because the rest of the time shot 30% EFG.

    How do these sportswriters keep their jobs is beyond me.


  8. Re: Skip Bayless…

    Skip supports his claim that Kobe isn’t as great as Jordan because Kobe’s shot is better than Jordan’s. Ooookay. Not a fan of logic.

    Anyone notice Kobe came in 2nd in #1 MVP votes but 4th overall? I think that suggests that people like Skip Bayless are allowed to vote for MVP.


  9. notreallyimportant May 8, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    Can we make a list of all known Kobe haters so I can read their articles with that in mind, instead of getting ambushed at the end, when they completely bash Kobe for things like the failure of jis teamamtes.

    Skip Bayless would be newest addition.


  10. Sure, everyone hates Kobe. Now you don’t have to think anymore! Isn’t that what you want?


  11. notreallyimportant May 8, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    John R: I don’t mind actually reading the articles, I just would like to know that I’m not going to be reading incredibly one sided journalism. Like when I read a lakers blog like this one i expect a pro laker bias. When I read I expect a certain amount of journalistic integrity and filtering by editors. Unfortunately this seems to be dissappearing, so I would like to counteract this by having previous readers recounst what kind of a writer this person might be. And I’m aware that by asking peole at fb&g the anwers will also be biased, but since I am ready for it, it is ok.


  12. I don’t care if people hate on Kobe.

    Bill Simmons hates on Kobe all the time. He does it generally with solid reasoning rather than the inane bullshit and groundless arguments people like Skip Bayless do. When you constantly get your ass handed to you by Woody Paige, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.


  13. 130 points?

    Re: Kobe

    As Phil said Kobe “sat” on their game plan almost implying that he maybe wished that he had broken out of the game plan. But he and Phil both knew that he couldn’t walk up and start jacking up threes on that team. You simply ignite their fast break when you miss. That’s is what they want you to do.

    We played their starters even in game 7. We should be talking about our wafer thin bench.

    One key to beating Phoenix is not shooting a lot of threes and the ones you do better be shot at a high %


  14. For all you Kobe-haters who visit FB&G (aka “John R.”), here’s a link that maybe explains where your hatred comes from:


  15. Only a true idiot actually uses the term “hater”. I’m sorry, its stupid. And if you had been around the Laker scene for longer than the playoffs, but being a Laker fan I know that would be asking a lot of you, you would know all season I backed Kobe’s ballhogging. Something weird happened at the end of game 7.

    Pat Burke outscored Kobe in the second half. I never said Kobe cost them the game. I merely support the notion that something strange happened. If you can’t admit that much, and insist on using words like “hater” you are a fool. Do you also say “Bling bling” and “crunk”? Oh wait maybe now I’m hating on bling bling.


  16. The mainstream media always takes two extremes. The first extreme was, “The Lakers are up 3-1 against the Suns; how is this possible? Well, Kobe’s not taking as many shots, and his assists are up a bit. Conclusion: Kobe has turned into an amazing playmaker!” This is fine and well, but it ignores his horrendous 25-to-18 assist-to-turnover ratio in those first games. He was essentially playing through the triangle, but more credit should’ve went to his teammates than to Kobe; he still is a horrnedous decision maker, and likely always will be.

    In actuality, though, the Lakers were lucky to ever be up 3-1 in the series. The Suns winning was really just a small sample size evening out a bit more; any of the first four games could’ve went either way. Kobe shot more in Game 6 partly because he had to, but the biggest problem is not simply because he shot more, but in the WAY he shot more — he made the offense static. There was zero ball movement. That’s the biggest problem in his game besides his horrible decision making, a problem none of the other stars have, and that is the reason why those stars are better.

    Kobe giving up — and yes, there’s no other way to cut it; he was in the least trying to prove a point — in Game 7 is inexcusable, but I don’t think ANYONE is trying to say the only reason the Lakers lost is because of that. They’re trying to fathom how or why Kobe let it happen when the game was relatively within reach. What other great player would have punted the situation like that?

    I am a hardcore Lakers fan, but I’m not a biased one. He is not the best player in the game, and the reasons as to why he’s not were on fine display during the series. It’s only right that he takes sufficient bashing for giving up in the second half.