Archives For video

Earlier in the week we talked about recent improved play from Kobe and him embracing the type of player he did not envision he would hold on to become late in his career. The last couple of games, however, Kobe has even exceeded that level of play.

It may be too early to say that this is the new norm, but we’re approaching the point where those who buried him as being “done” might do well to re-evaluate those firm statements and call them premature. Again, the sample needs to get bigger, but the fact that there’s a sample at all is encouraging.

The latest evidence of a revival came on Thursday night, where Kobe seemed intent to give us a game version of the #throwbackthursday hashtag:

Continue Reading…

Before the Lakers played the Wizards last week, I answered a few questions for Wizards’ site Truth About It in the lead up to that game. It was mostly about the young players and my feelings in the aftermath of Kobe’s retirement announcement. One question, though, was about my three favorite Kobe “moments” from his career. I thought long and hard on that question and ultimately offered up this answer:

Continue Reading…

I try my best to provide substantive commentary and insight on the Lakers every time I post here. But, sometimes, you just have to throw up a video and say as little as possible. That’s how I feel here.

I mean, what is there really to say? This video is fantastic and gave me the chills throughout the entire thing. And, note, this is only a trailer for a longer video that will eventually drop too. Best believe that video will get posted here too.

(h/t to @justrycole for finding the video and to Basketball Forever for putting this video together – it really is fantastic)

The Lakers may have lost to the Hawks on Friday night, but how they went about doing it wasn’t the worst thing ever. Yes, they started out slowly and allowed the Hawks to take control of the game. And, yes, Kobe had another poor shooting night. But the team, overall, still played hard throughout, battled back late in the game to get within four points, and with a little more experience may have found a way to keep it close with a chance to win at the end.

Individually, though, D’Angelo Russell’s play was one of the bright spots. While his shooting percentage wasn’t great (6-16) and he had too many turnovers (7 — though, as I’ve noted, high turnovers aren’t necessarily the worst thing for the long term development a young point guard), he was aggressive, shot the three ball well (4-7), and looked to take control of the game in the 4th quarter.

Continue Reading…

On Thursday night, after the TNT double-header, the network aired a sit-down interview between Kobe and Ernie Johnson. The entire thing was great and the entire 7 minute clip is available below. While I wish it were longer — Johnson is one of the best in the business and Kobe always seems to give a good interview — they covered a fair amount of ground in their short time.

Check out the clip after the jump.

Continue Reading…

With the way Kobe Byrant has played to start the season, there has been a lot of eulogizing his career. You do not have to look far to find the next read on how bad he currently his, how he should retire, and how much of a drag he is on the court in what will likely be his final season.

But this version of Kobe is not how I will remember Kobe. The Kobe I will remember is the one who dominated for a decade and a half, the Kobe who struck fear into opponents simply by walking onto the court.

This is the guy I am talking about:

Continue Reading…

I’m all for tempering expectations when it comes to young players. Being successful is hard in the NBA. Being successful when you’re not yet even 21 years old is even harder. Players this young not only need to physically mature, but they need to figure out how the strengths they do possess translate to playing against grown men. The same is true of the mental adjustments and getting to the point where they can react to the game in front of them rather than having to think through possessions.

However, just because the learning curve exists doesn’t mean young players don’t show us flashes of what they can become. I remember watching Jordan Clarkson’s first summer league games last year and thinking “this kid has something” even though it seemed like every other possession was him trying to go too fast or not recognizing what the rest of the players on the floor were doing.

This year is no different when it comes to Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell. They are only on the bottom levels of their respective development curves, but when watching them play it’s easy to see they have something to them. This “something” was on full display in Sunday’s win over Maccabi Haifa.

Continue Reading…

If you haven’t listened to it already, I cannot recommend enough the recent Lowe Post podcast where Grantland’s Zach Lowe had Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck as a guest. The entire podcast focused on Beck’s time as a Lakers’ beat reporter when he worked for the LA Daily News from 1997 through 2004. Beck left the LADN for the NY Times in the summer of ’04, of course, but he recalls his time covering the Lakers fondly and brings great perspective as well as some untold stories that are, for Lakers’ fans especially, essential listening.

I use that podcast as an intro here because one of the many topics covered during their hour-long discussion was Kobe’s reputation as a “gunner”. Lowe and Beck go into great detail about how, while it’s an idea that Kobe now himself propagates, it’s also one which doesn’t do him many favors since it often deflects the proper credit he should receive for an all-around player and, especially, how great a passer he’s been throughout his career.

This is a topic which I don’t think gets enough run in many conversations about Kobe, but it’s something I do feel is important when discussing him as a player. Throughout the majority of his career Kobe has played, positionally, shooting guard but has spent most of his time on the floor as a player who either initiates the offense a la a point guard or has the offense run through him as the primary decision maker. Playing this style has allowed Kobe to flex his scoring muscles — after all, with him handling the ball so much there was little in the way of stopping him from simply shooting — but has also put him in position to show just how gifted a passer he is.

Reflecting on this took me to youtube and, lo and behold, I found this wonderful compilation of Kobe passing clips — all of which come from last season:

Continue Reading…