How many times have we seen this scenario play out? The storyline, right up until last night’s tip-off, was Kobe – his shooting woes up in Denver and his defiance in the wake of the loss. Kobe shot early and often last night against the Rockets, and was clearly dialed in. His marksmanship was infectious – the team scored at will. Once again, the debate over an aging superstar takes a temporay back seat.
Dexter Fishmore at Silver Screen and Roll, examines the balanced force of a resurgent Kobe Bryant, a dominant Andrew Bynun, and a quietly effective Pau Gasol.
Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’ Lakers, also looks at the ‘Big Three Topics’ (with video) – Kobe, Andrew, and the improving point guard production.
Dave McMenamin from ESPN, writes about the evolving relationship between Coach Mike Brown and his mercurial superstar.
Mark Medina of the L.A. Times Lakers Now blog, looks at Kobe’s shot selection and how it plays into the continually adjusting debate.
Kevin Ding at the OC Register, charts Andrew Bynum’s impressive play and ambition. through the appreciative POV of teammates Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Lest we forget, there was another team playing last night, the Houston Rockets. Undermanned in the front court, the team still gave a strong effort. Jacob Mustafa from the excellent Rockets blog Red94, writes compellingly, about long term growth and short term frustration.
When Kobe’s sitting down in a one-on-one interview, he can be honest and articulate about the aging of an athlete’s game and the need for adjustments. Confronted by the media blitz after a game or a practice however, the Mamba tends to get defensive and flip. The resulting soundbites feed conveniently into a framework of ego and denial.
There’s nothing like a win to chase the clouds of controversy away. The Lakers head back into action tomorrow (Portland). The hero debate won’t disappear for long of course, Kobe’s twilight years promise to be fierce, uncompromising, and very well documented.
– Dave Murphy