After everyone else has had their say on the Laker â€œeffortâ€ in game 7, Phil Jackson chimed in a email interview with Hoopsvibe and essentially said what many (myself included) said â€” 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 â€” the old man is angry. And Kwame’s at the head of the list:
â€œKwame missed four or five easy shots early in Game 7,â€ Winter said. â€œHe didnâ€™t even try sometimes to go after key rebounds that we needed.â€
â€œBrown, heâ€™s not a competitor,â€ Winter said, pointing out that Brown played with bursts of energy mixed with strange bouts of apathy. â€œHe just doesnâ€™t know how to compete.â€
Asked if he thought Brown could improve in the intangibles, Winter said, â€œI donâ€™t know. You canâ€™t change spots on a leopard. I donâ€™t know how interested he is in playing.â€
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 â€” and working hard in the off-season to get better â€” 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.)