The Last Word on Game 7

Kurt —  May 14, 2006

After everyone else has had their say on the Laker “effort” in game 7, Phil Jackson chimed in a email interview with Hoopsvibe and essentially said what many (myself included) said — the Suns worked to take the ball out of Kobe’s hands in the second half, no one else stepped up.

But the best reason to read this is what Tex Winter had to say — the old man is angry. And Kwame’s at the head of the list:

“Kwame missed four or five easy shots early in Game 7,” Winter said. “He didn’t even try sometimes to go after key rebounds that we needed.”

“Brown, he’s not a competitor,” Winter said, pointing out that Brown played with bursts of energy mixed with strange bouts of apathy. “He just doesn’t know how to compete.”

Asked if he thought Brown could improve in the intangibles, Winter said, “I don’t know. You can’t change spots on a leopard. I don’t know how interested he is in playing.”

I think Tex was a little harsh, Kwame played well down the stretch and deserves credit for that. However, doing it for three weeks and doing it for a season — and working hard in the off-season to get better — are two different things.

So let’s have at it one more time. This is the last time we’re discussing game 7 in detail, it’s time to move on. (Starting Monday afternoon, when we start with season reviews and the point guard position.)

Kurt

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7 responses to The Last Word on Game 7

  1. I think Tex is halfway correct about Brown. But what people have to realize is that Kwame played well and with poise until that damn phantom rape allegation. A player as fragile as Brown is not going to hold up well under that kind of pressure. As well, Tex Winter is known for being a grumpy old man from time to time. But he does make a good point. Most of Kwame’s issues are in the head and in the heart.

  2. Some good points in there from Tex but really it was their lack of experience. The Lakers tried to cram for the playoffs and Phoenix playing .500 ball just believed in their system. The minute Smush and Kwame and Luke and Lamar met adversity like getting fouls called on them and putting the Suns on the line for automatic points they lost their way and Kobe was not able to will them to victory. If the Lakers can improve on this and add some talent it might be a Kobe MVP season. But if the touch calls on these finesse type players , Kobe might need to change positions in the triangle and become the initiator to get the same respect. Everyone on the team needs to be able to be positionless of offense and be dedicated like Detroit is on defense. It should be exciting next year. It was nice to see what a team can do when they believe in the system and themselves.

  3. Whatever the state of Kwame’s head,the man has bad hands and will never be a consistant scorer. Unless the pass is “right there”,Kwame will fumble it.
    I saw this same thing in Orlando w/Steven Hunter. Player had all the talent in the world but had the fabled stone hands and could never be relied upon in the offence.
    For 2-3 games when opposing Defences ignore them and soft,easy entry passes can be made,they will look fabulous right up to the point the defences start shutting down the easy passing lanes and then the fumbling,turnovers and missed easy shots pile up and the fans get down on them,and they retreat into a shell.
    Forget Kwame being a threat on offense and you will appreciate his virtues. He can be a strong defensive presence in the middle who rebounds and blocks shots-and that’s all he does.(And having a player who doesn’t need shots can’t be too bad on a Kobe-led team,can it?Or any team for that matter!)

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