Reflecting On Kobe

Darius Soriano —  February 8, 2012

I watch the video above and have a variety of thoughts. I think of how long it’s been; how young Kobe was when he got started and how much of a grizzled veteran he is now. How much wear those legs have endured. How much time in the gym he’s spent. How tired he looks in some of those clips. I marvel at the legends he’s passed during his ongoing scoring binge and wonder how much higher on that ladder he can climb.

Then, I’m almost overwhelmed by a sense of appreciation. Kobe and I are roughly the same age. I’ve been lucky enough to see his entire career unfold, watching nearly every game, and seeing how he’s grown from that young kid with the mini-afro to the the man that stands before us today. I’ve seen the ups and downs; the championships; the devastating losses. And through it all, I’ve seen him persevere - playing a game with a drive and dedication that not too many give in any apsect of their lives.

As we sit here today, in Kobe’s 16th season, I reflect and try understand how far he’s come in his basketball journey and how much longer it will be. He speaks in interviews acknowledging his mortality, talking about how he won’t hold on to be an 18 point scorer and how he won’t chase rings on another team. How he’ll retire a Laker.

I listen to the words and I feel thankful. Thankful that he played at all but even moreso that he played for the team that I cheer for. Fans of some teams never get to call an all-timer their own. Even fewer get to see that player only suit up for their team. There’s a kinship that develops between you and that player. Not to the point that you don’t see their faults, but to the point that you accept the flaws and appreciate the player anyway. Fans of the Spurs who got to see Duncan work all these years know what I mean.

So, enjoy the video above. Enjoy the time he has left and revel in the accomplishments to come. Odds are, we won’t have another player quite like him that we call our own for some time.

Darius Soriano

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77 responses to Reflecting On Kobe

  1. Sorry this is off topic but I posted it in the last thread right after Darius put this one up.

    Question for the moderators or anyone else who might know.

    If the Lakers are interested in Aaron Brooks when he returns from China, is it even possible to get him. All they can offer him is the vet min and the suns would match that without a doubt.

    What I understand is that sign and trades are not allowed during the season so they wouldn’t be able to have the suns sign him and trade him.

    So, could the Lakers trade a pick or one of the rookies to the suns now for Brooks bird rights, and then have the right to match offers?

  2. #1. I answered it in the last thread.

  3. And when you consider he was sharing the majority of the scoring with Shaq (whom he just passed) for the first half of his career, it’s even more remarkable what he’s accomplished scoring-wise. Here’s to a few years more and hopefully another ring or two before one of the greatest of all-time hangs up his legendary jersey for good, leaving us with an empty nostalgic feeling only fans in Chicago will be able to relate to.

  4. Totally agree with you, Darius.

    Kobe is one year younger than I am (almost exactly), and there are times when I am suddenly gripped by the fact that he has been on my Lakers for the entirety of my adult life.

    Whereas Magic was the Laker of my formative years, Kobe has been the Laker I’ve had the best opportunity to appreciate.

    There are times when I marvel at him, there are times when I curse him, and he may not ever be even my second-favorite Laker, but he is one of the most impressive basketball players ever and will always be even more appreciated by me because he has been (and will hopefully always remain) a Laker.

    It also makes me think about how lucky I am as Laker fan who got to live through Magic in the 80′s and Kobe in the aughts. That’s two of the best players ever, both of whom played their entire careers for the purple and gold in an era when that doesn’t happen all that often. I don’t use the word often, but we are – as Laker fans – truly blessed.

  5. I’m a longtime Laker fan (since ’65). Kobe has done so much for this franchise. I’m glad he’s a Laker, I respect his game big time, I’m a fan of his, and yes, I like him as a player. Very few players have accomplished what Kobe has in the NBA.

    Yes, everyone knows Kobe is currently 5th on the NBA all-time scoring list, but there is another list which personally I’m happier to see Kobe on. Kobe is one of only seven (7) players in NBA history who have scored 25,000+ points, pulled down 5,000+ rebounds, and handed out 5,000+ assist. The other six: Kareem, The Mailman, Jordan, Oscar, West, & Havlichek. Check out the following link: http://bkref.com/tiny/UHoTu

    Being a member of this list shows Kobe is good at everything required to be considered an immortal in this game, and not just a scorer.

  6. Darius,
    Much better than the stuff I wrote a few days ago on here about appreciating Kobe and Bynum right now while you can. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Kobe is the second best player to ever play the game behind Jordan. Although I do think LeBron might put Kobe to third by the end of his career.

  7. Terrific post, and video. I honestly, have my doubts that we’ll ever see another player this special again. That combination of skill, desire, and a pain threshold that’s completely off the charts, will be nearly impossible to duplicate.

  8. Off topic but Steve Blake practiced today and is a game time decision for tomorrow night against the C’s

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7555823/los-angeles-lakers-steve-blake-returned-practice

  9. The reason why he is #1 in my books is because, unlike the others in the top 5 (Jordan, Magic, Wilt, Kareem) or the ones that will be there before long (LBJ, possibly Durant), Kobe was never a physical specimen.

    Everyone of them was/is a freak with unnatural combination of height, jumping ability or hands. While Kobe was no slouch in that department, he relied on his skills rather than pure physical domination to earn his accolades. And he worked his butt off to develop those skills.

    The only ones who compare (in terms of lack of physical superiority, but effectiveness nevertheless) are Isiah, Stockton, Nash, Rodman, Barkley, Malone and now CP3. And Kobe has nearly as many rings as *all* of them put together!

  10. 9)
    You must be under 20 years old. Kobe was the second best athlete at SG right behind Jordan. In his athletic prime at around 23 years old Kobe was almost as athletic as Jordan just with smaller hands.

  11. The thing Kobe (and Duncan) can say that other top 10 all time players can’t is he won 2 titles w/o a top 50 player ever. All the other greats won all their titles with a top 50 player. Also none of those guys went through a rebuilding process in the prime of their careers all were on loaded teams in their primes.

  12. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that Kobe is in his 16th year. He joined the Lakers the same summer that I got married, when I was still in grad school. He’s been with the Lakers for 4 years *longer* than Magic’s (original) tenure, which basically started my Laker fandom at 7 and spanned all the way to my freshman year in college (which was seemingly forever ago, and but also forever long).

    I’ve been a Laker fan for a long, long time, and yet it’s hard for me to remember a time without Kobe in the FB&G. Everytime I get frustrated with him (which seems to happen with increasing regularity) I have to remind myself that I need to enjoy him while I still can, because it can’t last forever.

  13. 10) You prolly didn’t read me right. I never said he wasn’t an athlete. He just wasn’t the best one around. Late 90′s? May I suggest Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady? Both of them were considered better athletes than Kobe. Sure, Kobe won a dunk contest (and is prolly the one player I know of to have dunked on Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard and Yao), but even back in the days when he rocked the ‘Fro, he was just as prone to nailing a jumper in your face as he was to dunking on your noggin.

    Mind you, I’m not saying Kobe was an unathletic slob – just that he never overwhelmed you with his physicality like a Shaq, a LeBron…or Jordan.

    If you still have problems with that, lets talk about Wade. He, more than Kobe, reminds me of the way 23 used to play back in the day. Yet, he is shorter, and not nearly as good a shooter, so IMHO, he will not age as well as Jordan or Kobe.

    Though Jordan is definitely the gold standard, I go with Kobe because he didn’t have the physical tools that all those others I mentioned did.

  14. I already said my piece on appreciating Kobe’s greatness a couple days ago, so I’ll add something else I found interesting, a bit off-topic…

    In Kobe’s latest interesting interview, he came out and admitted what we all suspected for years: in terms of his legacy, it was very important to him to distance himself from Shaq. To play separate from Shaq and establish his own legacy. Who knows when exactly he decided he and Shaq would have to separate?

    “There was an interview that I heard Shaq do which he kind of threw down the challenge of me not being able to win without him,” recalled Bryant. “After I read that, I said, ‘Aw, that’s it.’ Some comparison that he made with me and Penny Hardaway, and once I read that, I said, ‘You know what? I can’t finish my career with people saying that. There’s no way.’”

    From http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/08/kobe-says-he-and-shaq-were-not-built-to-last-together/

    Very interesting that he would be that honest. Although I still don’t believe he had any direct influence on the Shaq trade (which was a lot of Shaq vs. Jerry Buss, and actual good foresight from the FO).

    9 – Rodman was a physical specimen. He had an absolutely unnatural endurance that Phil Jackson said was greater than that of Jordan, Pippen, or Kobe. And Malone was almost the definition of physical superiority.

  15. 13)
    And you must not have read me right. Kobe was one of the 4 greatest athletes to ever play the game. He was more athletic than TMac and Carter. He was much more athletic than Carter especially. Carter couldn’t be left and right. That’s why he wasn’t a good defender and couldn’t drive by players easily. He didn’t have a very good first step. I wouldn’t even put Carter in the same category as Kobe athletically. But TMac was in the same category… He just was a hair behind Kobe. Someone pull up some young Kobe highlights for this kid please. Or just look at Kobe highlights on YouTube from 10 years ago. Then let me know what you think.

  16. RE athleticism: I’d add that Barkley was a one of a kind athlete with amazing leaping ability and strength is such a compact, stout frame.

    I will add though, that Kobe’s game has never been based *solely* on his athleticism and that over the course of his career – and starting at an earlier stage in his career – he started to evolve his game to be a more complete player to make him more of an all court threat. If Kobe wanted to, he could have been a driver/slasher for the majority of his career and through his prime years. Instead, he tried to develop a jumpshot and work in the post and expanded his mid-range game.

    Some of this had to do with playing with Shaq, but most of it (at least in my opinion) had to do with playing in the Triangle offense. Kobe tailored his game to be a threat at every level of that offense (wing, high post, low post) and tried to evolve his skill set to be the best player he could be not only as a player, but a player operating in that scheme.

    Jordan, meanwhile, played some of his most explosive seasons in an offense that simply put the ball in his hands and let him attack. That’s why he drove all the time and got to the rim so often and shot an amazing % from the field. Jordan, though, paved the way for a guy like Kobe as he too evolved his game w/in the Triangle and gave Kobe a template to follow. That’s not to compare the two players nor to discount Kobe (Jordan’s template is there for anyone to follow – who’s done it as well as Kobe? – no one).

  17. 15) Good defensive prowess does not an athlete make. If that were the case, Bruce Bowen (and Shane Battier while we are at it) would be considered fantastic athletes.
    And please, can we do away with the condescending BS? You wanna debate, I’m game, as long as you keep it civil.
    Kobe – one of the four greatest athletes to play the game? Not even close. Let me counter with Wilt, MJ, Dr. J, LBJ and Shawn Kemp. Not to mention Shaq – need I go on?

  18. Darius, Snoopy 2006,

    Malone was 6’9″, Rodman was 6’7″ and Barkley was 6’6″. All of whom were undersized for their position (perhaps only slightly so for Malone). Each of them was able to compensate for that shortcoming in different ways.
    Compare and contrast those against MJ, Magic, Kareem and Wilt.

  19. The Lakers plight this season has transformed me into a crazy man. However, Darius, your awesome post and video have made me very appreciative of the wonderful journey we have had with Kobe. He simply brought his best to the table year in and year out. We are so fortunate to have been able to watch such a talent for so long.

    I was the one who was yelling for Jimmy Buss to hit the self destruct button and amnesty Kobe & trade Pau for nothing in an effort to get way below the salary cap. Why would I do this: in an effort to minimize the pain of losing and to try and rebuild in one offseason (by signing DH and DWill as free agents this summer).

    I have climbed off the ledge and come to grips about where the Lakers are and what realistically they can/will do. I believe that DH will not come – he has stated that even if we trade for him he is still going to hit the open market this summer. No way do the Lakers take that chance. My strong feeling is that the FO realizes that the only tradeable asset is Bynum and because of his injury history he won’t fetch equal value.

    My gut says that the Lakers will end up having to play out the hand they are dealt and there will indeed be some pain. The FO will try and improve around the edges – pick up a serviceable PG, a SF who can actually shoot. But the core will remain intact (Kobe/Pau/Bynum). The new target for us Laker fans is the 2014-15 season. Kobe and Pau’s contract fall off the books and the Lakers currently have $0 committed that season. For the next 2.5 years, I think Laker brass feels that the team can remain relevant and absent that the hope is with Kobe they can remain competitive.

    Some thoughts:

    Kobe: The FO will not amnesty Kobe. He is beloved by Laker fans and the team won’t risk such a PR hit (unless Kobe pushes hard in that direction first). At a minimum, Kobe will put butt in the seats.
    Pau: He is like a carton of milk with an expiration date of the coming trade deadline. He’s 31 and his productivity does not warrant his huge contract. No way does another teams’ GM trade for Pau this offseason – he’ll be 32 in the fall and owed $38+ million. If he’s still on the Lakers after the deadline he’ll finish his contract here.
    Bynum: If he stays healthy and produces this year his trade value will be at an all time high. He would then provide some nice pieces of value in return. However, this scenario is improbable. With Bynum, the Lakers will always be faced with moving him but for less than equal value.

    If the Lakers make some smart peripheral moves they can retain a punchers chance of making an impact but in reality they are no better than a 5 – 8 seed this year. Without significant improvements they might miss the playoffs the next two years altogether. The Lakers fate may be to rebuild through the draft, collecting higher and higher draft picks over the next 3 drafts. Then when Kobe and Pau fall off the books the Lakers can reload with whatever marquee FA’s are available.

    I hope a great deal materializes that allows us to truly challenge this year and beyond. However, I do not see that happening. We are not dealing from a position of strength and we do not have a surplus of talent that can be moved forward. If we trade a key piece to fill a hole we will have created another hole in the process.

    I think we’re going to struggle until the 2014-15 season.

  20. 17)
    Those guys were good defemders for being average athletes. They were not great defenders. Not even close. Not compared to athletes like Rodman, and Kobe, and Jordan etc. and yes… One of the better ways to see who is a great athlete is to see who is the better defender. I love Shaq. And for his size he was an amazing athlete and he was one of the greatest athletes to ever play the game. But part of athletism is hand eye coordination. Shaq was not a very good shooter and skilled basketball player because he didn’t have that kind of athletissm. Shaq was like a seven foot Shannon Brown. Lots of explosion and giant hands… But not much skill. And skill is a major part of athletisism. Hakeem on the other hand…

  21. I agree with any_one_mouse here. Kobe was an amazing athlete, but not a top 4 greatest athlete in the Association. His skill level might be the best out of everyone though. I don’t think that this is a knock to Kobe either. On the contrary, it is a testament to his will and determination to be the best.

  22. Btw… I love these conversations guys

  23. 19 – I don’t think skill is a major part of athleticism (and this might be completely subjective, because I look at athleticism as something you are born with, while skill is what you earn by putting time in), but if you think so, I guess we are saying the same thing :)

  24. One of the many incredible things about Kobe, is that he has always had one simple goal – to be the best ever. Many can say it in jest to themselves, but he has always meant it and believed it. He still does, and that is why he deserves some help from this franchise.
    Both 8 + 24 will hang on the wall, and a statue. The fitting tribute to the Greatest Laker.

  25. It once seemed blasphemous to suggest Kobe has had a better career than Magic, and therefore deserves the mythical “Greatest Laker Ever” title. I’m 37 and grew up on Showtime, and I never once thought I’d see someone better than No. 32.

    Now, I really don’t think one can argue Kobe is not tops on that list. He’s played far longer, won as many titles (with fewer Hall of Fame teammates), and his game has evolved greatly over time, from young freak scorer to 2006-era all-around greatness, and now he’s become an extremely effective older player, arguably the MVP of this short season so far. It’s amazing.

    True, we all were robbed of seeing what Magic would have evolved into over his final years — no doubt he would have aged gracefully too; he was too smart to have done less than alter his play with age.

    But as others have said, let’s appreciate Kobe while he’s here — there will never be another one like him. And his total body of work seems to place him at No. 1 on the Lakers list of legends, at least in my opinion. Certainly fun to debate that duel.

  26. any_mouse: I get where you’re coming from, but size isn’t the only measure of “physical superiority,” to use your words. Malone and Rodman were given extraordinary physical gifts that more than compensated for their lack of size. Rodman was able to guard players like Jordan and Pippen while he was with the Pistons – something he couldn’t have pulled off if taller. So I don’t see a few inches as making him physically inferior.

    I agree with your overall point though. To my eyes, T-Mac was more athletic than Kobe. Wade was more explosive than Kobe ever was (plus with an athletic ability to change direction Kobe never had). Lebron is self-explanatory. I agree that while an extraordinary athlete, Kobe wasn’t quite a freak of nature.

    To me, the thing that will stand out about Kobe is that he maximized every physical gift he was given. He gave himself every possible edge. It’ll never be said that he didn’t squeeze out every ounce of potential.

  27. I love talking bout KB, but back to reality: @1+2 above. Darius did answer @13 in the prior thread + he is correct. The key point being:

    There’s really no way for us to get ________. Fill in the name you want, and 95% of the time, this applies. The main exceptions to this r of course a blockbuster deal for 1/more of the big 3. Or we could pick up a role player. The last exception would be if we package the TPE with draft picks to get a semi-decent player, but this would make me very sad, and would insure no banners for years.

  28. I think it is premature to be talking about Kobe playing his whole career with one franchise. Frankly, I think it is highly unlikely that he will not one day play for another team.

    What sets Kobe apart from all other basketball players in the modern age (save Jordan) is his competitiveness. There will likely come a time when Kobe’s self-confidence and competitiveness cause him to have more respect for his value than the Lakers. By the end of his current contract he will be making nearly $30 million a year. Will he be worth it? What’s his next extension worth?

    It’s hard for me to reconcile the idea that Jim Buss is looking to save money (a frequent critique on this blog) with the idea that he and Kobe will share a common view of Kobe’s value by the end of Bryant’s contract and when it comes time to negotiate a new one.

    Just as Bulls eventually decided to move on, and just as Jordan felt that he still had more to accomplish, I think it’s quite easy (and depressing) to imagine Kobe finishing his career somewhere else….

  29. Snoopy,
    Wade in his prime was as athletic as Kobe but he was also a few inches shorter. To say Kobe wasn’t a freak athlete is to really take away from his game ten years ago and his game now. The reason Kobe is still so athletic besides the fact he keeps himself in such great shape is because he was coming from such a freak athletic place before he began to decline about 8 years ago. People forget what Kobe was before his infamous eagle Colorado knee surgery. The guy was ducking over Yao Ming. I remember a game against Orlando when Kobe and TMac were both in their athletic primes and Kobe in the fourth quarter switched onto TMac who was a SF and completely smothered him with his quickness and athletisim. TMac scored something like 30 plus points through three quarters and maybe scored two points the rest of the way. He could barley get a shot off against Kobe. It was the highlight of Kobe’s athletism because of the kind of offensive athlete TMac was. I hope people give the kind of credit Kobe deserves as an athlete despite all the years he has played as not a dominant athlete. Much like Kareem. People forget how freakishly athletic Kareem was because they were used to seeing him as a Laker. Go watch him in his athletic prime with the Bucks.

  30. Funky: I was thinking like u for a while, however I am changing my mind a little. Perhaps the recent interviews. Kobe wants to be Alpha, so he will not be a ring chaser. He would only go to a contender, that will allow him to take over, which would be an odd combo. So, he could be here for the duration. I am just hoping we chase rings and not just records. Otherwise 3-5 yrs of him climbing the points list and then 3-5 yrs of re-building = 6-10 yrs of no titles. And don’t flame me – Every1 knows how I feel bout KB, but he can’t win w/o more help.

  31. I was wrong. He dominated TMac the year after his big knee surgery. So basically… After he already lost a lot of athleticism he could still shutdown TMac. TMac was very athletic obviously and very skilled but just not athletic enough to score against the shorter Kobe Bryant. Here are the details under the YouTube one min clip of the fourth quarter…

    ESPN Kobe: youtube.com Excerpt from Sports Illustrated: “Letting Kobe Bryant guard Tracy McGrady turned out to be a good decision on both ends for the LA Lakers. Bryant scored 37 of his 38 points after halftime (and 24 points in the 4th quarter alone) to edge the Orlando Magic to a 113-110 overtime come-back win. Again, wearing a protective shirt beneath his jersey to harness his sprained right shoulder, Bryant scored 24 of Los Angeles’ 29 total fourth-quarter points. He was dominant throughout the fourth quarter on both ends, helping Los Angeles rally from a huge deficit vs. Orlando for the second time this season. McGrady dominanted Bryant most of the first three quarters as he scored 37 points. But he scored just 5 points (against Bryant) in the fourth, made just 13-of-32 shots overall. Coach Phil Jackson felt using Bryant on McGrady would hurt the Lakers’ offense and was hesitant to make the move until Bryant convinced him otherwise. Bryant made 13-of-26 shots.” Lakers 113 – Magic 110 in OT. *Video by BryantDunkGiant*”

  32. 8/sbdunks – great news, Blake is needed.

    12/Brian – really nicely put.

  33. Kobe was and still is an extraordinary athlete. But he was never a specimen the way Wilt, Dwight, Shaq or LeBron was. I don’t think it matters how he compares to Vince and TMac, they’re more or less cut from the same cloth.

    Comparing him to Jordan is a bit tricky because Jordan’s competition wasn’t as athletic as Jordan was although I don’t think Jordan falls under the specimen category either in this era. But in his… I think in his era he was a specimen.

    What I appreciate about Kobe more than anything is that this guy is seriously flawed. If the Magic/Bird/Jordan era was Disney, Kobe is Pixar/Dreamworks. The media allows us to get a better look at these ‘cats’ and in some ways help us identify better with these athletes as opposed to forcing them up on a pedestal, not to be touched.

    As for the pure basketball stuff, ranking Kobe is a tricky task because of all the factors involved and the different weights people assign when choosing players. Are we building a team? Are we looking at their apex? Are we looking at their whole resume?

    Me, I give a lot of credit to players who can play hurt. At a high level. And that’s why Kobe is near the top of my list, separating him from his contemporaries.

  34. Robert, I share your hope, but still lean towards betting on him leaving one day.

    It’s that same phenomenon that makes him both amazing (can make every shot) and frustrating (takes every shot). He’s an alpha as you say, and I suspect that this might be just what prompts him to one day feel like the Lakers best offer will not be sufficient, and might cause him to think that he’s the difference between some other team being average versus being a champion.

    In my lifetime, there has not been another alpha quite like Michael Jordan, though Kobe comes close. MJ, despite every objective reason not to sully his otherwise impeccable basketball resume, messed around for a few sad years in a Wizards uniform. I never thought I’d see that, but I did. I am hoping we don’t see a repeat of that with Kobe, but I wouldn’t bet against it. It’s just one of the many occasions where I hope I’m wrong but fear that I’m right (like expecting this season to be a total washout…).

  35. @32, Dave M – Yes, the team needs Blake, but his return could be canceled out if he takes minutes away from Goudelock and not Fisher. Watching Jeremy Lin carve up the opposition tonight for the third straight game and knowing that our front office has passed on him several times over the past 18 months is driving me crazy.

  36. By Aaron’s logic, Bruce Bowen must be one of the most athletic freaks of all time.

    In the end, I think Harold is right. Comparing his athleticism to T-Mac’s doesn’t serve any real purpose. This debate’s dissolved into something a little silly.

  37. It is just silly…

    Kobe was a phenomenal athlete and is still a great one, but LBJ, Shaq, DH12, and Wilt were just a bit more of an athletic specimen. I would probably put Dr. J up there as well. This makes Kobe’s career even greater in my opinion! He honed every other aspect of his game (Along with his amazing athleticism.) and became the greatest player of his time.

    Lebron is one of the greatest athletes that I have ever seen across all sports. Bo Jackson has to be in that discussion. I may give the edge to Bo.

    These types of discussions are incredibly fun!

  38. Sessions had 24 points and 13 assists tonight against the Clippers.

  39. Rover as a 40 year Laker nut I rate your analysis as one of the best and most intelligent I have read.

    We are stuck with bad contacts, vastly overrated and overpaid players like Walton, Metta, Fisher and even Pau, with little or no way to improve for the next 2 and a half years.

    This is a 5 to 9 seed team unless some miracle trade occurs and there is no Jerry West in the front office.

  40. Magic’s owner comments are not putting me in a good mood. They are setting the media up for allowing him to enter FA. Mitch is frowning, Cuban is laughing. Let me tell you what the team will be called: D cubed (Dirk, Dwight, Devon).

  41. Kobe is arguably the most skilled basketball player of all time – but not in the top few greatest athletes in basketball.

  42. Kobe is the best Laker player in the past decade up to this season but I say he’s just “one of the best” if I will compare his career to other Laker greats like Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Kareem and Magic. All of those players have contributed something to the league and also to this team that elevated the competition to a higher level, gave prominence to NBA that produced the better athletes like Kobe and Shaq. It’s like mentioning the names of Thomas Edison and Graham Bell when you talk of technology. Without those star players preceding Kobe, I doubt if Lakers would be a team of destiny. It is because of the winning tradition that Laker fans want more to have more Championship. (I doubt if Clippers would have that kind of appetite in case they win one this season or next.) Perhaps, that is the reason why we cringed in disgust, frustrated, whined endlessly when Laker players don’t exert any effort, no dedication in preserving the reputation of a winning brand. So far only Kobe IMO has that dedication to win it all every night at all cause. We often misunderstood his capabilities and sense of purpose. His style of playing as well as his maturity in approach of the game is vastly different from Magic and Jerry West although they have a common trait when it comes to killer instinct. I hope all fans as well as this new owner, Jimbo will take care of the Laker brand by choosing the right players, coaches and personnel. This the time to surround Kobe with better players than just waste his huge contract. Better players by referring to the Chick Hearns’ standard: “If he were alive today, what would Chick say about this player or these coaches?”

  43. 35. Actually I believe the Lakers were interested in Lin but he grew up in Palo Alto and the Warriors were his favorite team growing up so he signed with them

  44. I have always liked Wilson Chandler. He is back from China in 2 weeks. What can we do to grab him.

    A major upgrade over Metta Brick on offense and a decent defender.

    Thoughts!

  45. Hey Mojo – That’s what the Wizards are for.
    This deal could have been done in the preseason. Well – in any case – I have until 03-15 to dream.

  46. Awesome right up on Kobe!

  47. Ken – Looks like Chandler is going to be locked down by Denver to a multi year deal. Please see the blank @27 above and fill in Chandler’s name. Sorry – my turn to be hopeless : ) Well except for the 3-15 thing : )

  48. We could trade Odom and Sasha and and Oh never mind.

  49. Wow, I mean’t write up.

  50. We like to bag on Jim Buss, but he learned at his daddy’s knee. Not only does Los Angeles pay for celebrity and flash; so does the rest of the league.

    Kobe has continually put butts in the seats throughout the NBA. This puts more money in the Buss’s pockets than any other player could. Even a reduced Kobe will be putting customers in the seats. This is the reason I think Kobe will finish his career with the Lakers. No smart business man fires the top salesman.

  51. Few people would argue against Chandler’s value. Which is exactly why he won’t be joining our squad. He’s worth more than what we can offer (twice pro-rated minimum) and there are teams who can offer a lot more than that. See a list of teams with cap exceptions available here: http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/salaries/exceptions.jsp

    It would be great if the fans had more patience towards the Lakers FO. There are several reasons why no moves have been made so far by the entire league. But rest assured that the dam will break between March 1st and March 15th. There will be plenty of trades made, and I am positive Mitch & Co will be involved in the league-wide action.

    If not.. then I’ll join the Kens/Roberts/whoever else has been dogging the FO in the last month. This team needs change and some sort of a mild-to-serious shake-up.

  52. 19,

    You have very nice insightful thoughts on analysis of the Lakers, however it is tainted with pessimism of the near future.

    Well, when we have witnessed the peaks and valleys of this when we had a bunch of scrubs from 2005-07, I shared that kind of viewpoint too. In the next season, by just adding Ariza, Pau and Fisher it changed the landscape that produced b2b Championships. However, that change are now old and stale, we need change to keep up with change of competition. I think the marquee players would want to join the Lakers tho’ they can’t force it at this time. I see CP3 coming to the Lakers at the end of his 2nd year contract with the Clippers. Dwight Howard is changing his mind in every cycle, do you believe on what he tweets? We have to take care of the PG business first and the 2nd unit. I don’t know I still on a waiting stage on Kapono/Murphy/Blake I hope they will suddenly explode and give us that real relief with the sharp shooting skills.

  53. Craig

    Sorry not true. Jim left the Lakers behind and was in the horse training business. He was not involved in any way with the Lakers until a little over 6 years ago when the Lakers were already loaded.

    He had conflicts with Mitch and Phil who didn’t speak to him the last 2 years.

    Jeanne was here for all those years yet isn’t it odd we have not heard a word from her this year.

  54. @44 Michael H – Actually, the Warriors outbid the Lakers for Lin after Mitch thought our PG position was set by re-signing Fish, signing Blake, and not even considering Dorell Wright. We only offered Lin a one-year deal, while GS offered him two years (but only partially guaranteed). We weren’t able to get him this season after the Warriors cut him because first Houston and then New York claimed him on waivers before he could fall to us.

    No way that Baron beats him out for the starting gig once he’s healthy. What Baron will do is take minutes away from Mike Bibby, who is even worse than Fish at this point in time.

  55. You can’t make this stuff up… After both Bynum 20/20 games so far this season (I never thought I would say that) Dwight Howard came back the very next Magic game with a 20/20 of his own. Ya think Dwight feels Andrew On his heels ;)

  56. Snoopy,
    Bruce Bowen was not a great defender. He was a great defender for his limited athletisim. Overall he was a smart solid defender. Not a guy that could shut you down one on one like a Jordan or Kobe or Artest.

  57. Dude,
    Yes… I couldn’t agree more. Blake coming back does nothing if he replaces GLock as the back up PG. and I don’t want to see Brown put GLock in as the back up SG. HE ISN’T A SG. HE IS A SIX FOOT PG MIKE. Sorry for the caps. I needed to stress that point. It seems obvious to put Blake into the starting lineup and have Galock back him up… But we all know there all politics involved.

  58. Aaron

    Can you imagine if Fish and Metta were coming off the bench?

    Could be the first bench to go scoreless for a entire game.

  59. Aaron is correct. I would start Blake, make Fish the backup 2, and backup Blake with Goudelock. However, Brown will not do this. I would also let McRoberts and Ebanks play 10-15 MPG each, if for no other reason than to get a little youth on the floor. Brown won’t do that, either.

  60. Since we all know so well what Mike Brown won’t do, why don’t we all just take over the team. Yeeeeeesh!

    M.B. has shown plenty of appetite for change this year.

  61. anti Dwyer Abbott February 9, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Awesome reflect Darius!
    Kobe was/is not a awesome athletic specimen but

    I will remember Kobe for ;
    -5 rings(maybe more)
    -scoring
    -his number one footwork
    -his impeccable glass-work
    -his incredible up’n’under layups
    -his double-clutch shots

    Cheers!

  62. Since we all know so well what Mike Brown won’t do, why don’t we all just take over the team. Yeeeeeesh!

    ___

    Give it a rest, Craig.

  63. Craig,

    Not exactly the “nuanced” discussion I have heard so much about.

    “Appetite for change” or no, Brown has continued to start Fisher, give him the bulk of the minutes at the 1, and finish games with him. He has also gone back to MWP at the 3, has not played Ebanks, and is riding Kobe, Pau and Andrew harder than Phil did. Until I see a change in those patterns, I will assume that Brown keeps them. If you have specific reasons to believe Brown will make these changes soon, pipe up.

    I suspect, however, that a loss in Boston may force Brown’s hand.

  64. I’m sorry guys… Whenever I hear people on here saying Kobe wasn’t an elite athletic specimen I automatically assume they are in their early twentys or younger. I’m going to go on YouTube right now and out up some links from Kobe the two years before his first major knee surgery thatnchangednis game forever.

  65. Ever wonder if Kobe had come before Jordan, whether Jordan would have been emulating Kobe? I know Jordan took elements of David Thompson and Julius Erving’s game. I always wonder if Kobe gets short changed simply because he happened to follow Jordan.

  66. #61 & 63. I think you’re both right. As robinred points out, Brown has played Kobe, Pau, and Bynum heavy minutes (though, I’m not sure what his alternatives are while still acknowledging I’d like that he found a way to not do this as often).

    However, as Craig notes, Brown has shown a penchant for changing around his lineups/personnel groupings, while also not showing any sort of commitment to several role players in the form of minutes until recently. Ebanks went from starting to not playing at all to playing in place of Kapono to not playing at all again. McRoberts went from being the first big off the bench to not playing at all. Murphy went from being the 4th big to the only big getting minutes off the bench. Barnes’ minutes are consistently jerked around. Morris got consistent run for several games and is now buried again. Goudelock went from being the back up SG to not playing at all to now being a key bench player.

    When Blake comes back, it’s not like we have any idea what’s actually going to happen. If Blake plays better than Fisher while Goudelock continues to play as well as he has over the past two weeks, what happens then? If Fisher shows he can actually team with Goudelock to form a reasonably effective backcourt combo, does that change Brown’s rotations? Does it change who starts or finishes? Does it change personnel groupings in the 2nd unit?

    Besides playing his big three heavy minutes, Brown has shown little consistency with his lineups up until a week and a half ago. Now he’s going to get a key rotation player back. We can all state what we’d like to see (which I think several folks have done) but to argue that we know what he will do isn’t possible, at least to me, because Brown hasn’t shown nearly enough consistency in this area of coaching to give us many hints.

  67. And only because you can’t just have him dunk over one dominant Center… Dwight Howard needed to be jumped over…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP_teS6y3e8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  68. 64) Aaron,
    No one has said Kobe is not “an elite athletic specimen.” Clearly he is. But that doesn’t mean he is one of the top few NBA athletes of all time, which is the point that is being made. Which is a separate argument from where he places on the list of all-time greats.

  69. 61) Sorry, Mr. Craig.

    We’ll try to keep the ball from going into your rose bushes anymore.

  70. Aaron-
    You really crack me up. Don’t change the argument! No one on this board ever said that Kobe isn’t an elite NBA athlete. We just said that he wasn’t a top 4 NBA athlete all time. There are a handful of other all-world NBA players that are greater athletic specimens than Kobe was.

  71. Saying Kobe isn’t as athletic as Wade, Carter, and TMac is saying just that. Kobe was more athletic than all of those guys. The only wing more athletic than Kobe was Michael Jordan. That’s it. Btw… Phil Jackson said the only difference athletically between Jordan and Kobe were that Kobe didn’t have giant hands like MJ.

  72. We are in a situation where the triangle players of PJ are currently adjusting to the p&r coaching style of MBrown. The hodge podge cheap players assembled by MitchK are also adjusting with their new teammates and w/ MBrown defensive coaching. MBrown is adjusting with the new location, new players, new Superstar plus the clamor for WINS or get out of LA. Everyone is under the gun to produce so he goes on experimentation of mixing old + new, trying to find the chemistry that will work. All of us who have Chemistry subjects in high school know that if you unknowingly mixed elements that are antagonistic with each other, it could produce a chemical reaction of explosion or implosion. Well, at least from the explosion you also discover dynamites and also waste elements. It takes a repeat of Chemistry class for another year to perfect the experimentation. (just kidding I might get a nasty rebuttal again)

  73. And LeBron. I mean Kobe is the best athletic wing of all time besides Jordan and LeBron.

  74. I put Jordan, VC, Nique, Kobe in the same class far as athleticism. I’m sure Kobe could jump out the gym like those guys if he worked at it. In terms of footwork Kobe is second to none up there with jordan and McHale.