This is a nice diversion leading up to game seven, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. (I am not going to see it tonight, I am gone to a Long Beach State athletics fundraiser, but it will be soon.)
Talk about the show, the upcoming game and more. And try to relax before tomorrow.
Trust me, I am fully relaxed. I have my Stoli raspberry, my TV set for Kobe goodness, and I stubbornly believe that my team will come out and play with hard, grit, desire, and that they will draw blood tomorrow.
It’s a do or die situation. Our Lakers have their faults, but when their backs are against the wall they fight back with a ferocity and stubborn determination that would make a pitbull proud. Tomorrow’s game will be a good one. No matter how it ends, it is going to be good.
Please tell me this will be on DVD.
don’t think I’ll be watching it sinc it won’t open in Korea, but will be on the lookout for it when it comes out in DVD format and drops to about $5~$7.
The snippets on ESPN shows very little promise and I fear that it’s going to be just a tad bit too bland. From what I gather, it includes very little of his pre-game workouts and rituals (something that would have given some insight as to what kind of work being an NBA player requires) and of course no exit interviews (i really think that will relate to people more).
Also, Kobe doing the voice over is better suited as a supplementary to the DVD not for the actual film. I think for it to have really worked, have a player and a coach give their take on what Kobe is doing and why; and later have buyers juxtapose it with Kobe’s take (without letting him know what was said).
Right now, it seems like they’ve given Kobe a chance to best defend himself and sell his image – and we all know Kobe isn’t that great at PR and does not really know that most people see ‘through’ his choice of words and always find an arrogance based on the insecurity of not being able to become the greatest.
If he could only realize that his best PR centers on him being 99% sweat and 1% inspiration not vice-versa.
2. This is Disney. They will milk every way possible to make money on this, including DVD. I wouldn’t be shocked if they tried to turn it into a Broadway musical.
Kurt, I did not need the mental image of Mbenga in tights. I really didn’t.
I truly forgot what a Game 7 felt like. Last year, watching the Game 7’s from a distance (or even in the first round this year), it’s hard to capture that fear/exhilaration unless you’re actually invested emotionally in one of the teams. Hatred for the Celtics partially counts, but not on this level.
Yeah I agree with Harold. I haven’t watched it yet and I’m hoping I’m wrong, but I saw the 4th quarter video on Youtube and wasn’t really impressed. At the most, I got that Kobe had some great basketball IQ. Not a shocker there. And he mercilessly teases Mbenga. Hopefully there’s more to the actual version, but my hopes aren’t high.
Unrelated to anything at the moment, but I came across this and thought it was fun to read again:
I had to hit the mute button and bring up the sub-titles b/c it’s hard to understand Kobe sometimes.
If that is the impression the previews gave you then they re misleading. I saw a Kobe that is not only respected but actually liked by his team mates. A Kobe who can laugh at himself, and who loves the game he plays and really takes the game seriously. Not himself, necessarily, but the game of basketball. He is a Professional. a d he is a Professional who loves what he does, who has fun out there with his team mates, and overall I felt that Spike Lee portrayed him very positively.
I admit that I am very biased, being that I am a hope-less Kobe fangirl, but what this documentary did was to show the game and the Lakers from the inside. Kobe, with his team, with them. I liked it. I want it on DVD. (Without Mbenga in tights! I cannot stress this enough.)
How much of Kobe’s communicating/teaching is done because 30 cameras were around?
The dude is clearly passionate about basketball and spends an incredible amount of time thinking about the game.
What this documentary shows me is that Kobe really does want to fit in. It’s actually kind of sad. If kobe had a better personality/PR how would that have changed his career and perception by the public? Or is his cold bloodedness and distant personality what has made him great? Complex.
Joel Paris says
Loved the documentary..thought it gave a solid in-depth look at a star player within a game. I don’t think it will appeal to the casual fan, but for me, it was a really good watch.
It would be great to see the Lakers get after it and play well tomorrow. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I thought it was great.
Okay, you know anyone will be on their best behavior in a situation like that. But take all the negatives people have said about Kobe as a teammate over the years… there’s no way he could so effortlessly hide dysfunctional behavior if it were there under the surface.
I was actually surprised that he doesn’t talk more during the game (not during the timeout, where the editing made it look like Phil didn’t even talk… does that actually happen?).
I also didn’t realize Kobe calls plays. This movie made me think he might actually defy the rule of thumb that great players can’t be coaches… because of his work ethic and his general basketball nerditude.
Hey, I missed the doc, although I’ve been waiting for it for months. Does anyone have a torrent or something I can download it from to watch? As a diehard lakers fan I’d love to sit down and watch it.
(If asking for a torrent or download is against the site rules, I’m really sorry. You can just delete my little post and not worry about me at all.)
A large part of being a coach is people skills, though. Understanding egos and personalities, getting everyone to blend harmoniously. From that standpoint, Kobe would likely be an utter failure as a coach.
I only saw a few minutes, but there was a quote from Kobe where he said something like “I’m not big on the [pre-game antics, jumping around], but the other guys seem to like it so I stomach it.”
Kobe is very different from the average NBA player in his personality. He’s focused and intense to a degree like MJ or Jerry West. If memory serves, West wasn’t extremely successful as a coach, was he? (the NBA bio claims he was decent, but I believe the Show gave a more detailed picture of his struggles to relate). I believe he drove his players too hard, demanded too much, and couldn’t relate to them because of his own greatness. Kobe would have the same problems. You already see his impatience with players who can’t keep up to his level of work ethic.
Kobe’s got some great basketball IQ, but that’s only a small part of being a successful NBA coach.
Snoopy2006, I perceived him the way you did before watching this documentary. I didn’t see any personality issues with his teammates.
Chris – You’re right, I should watch the full doc before commenting. But it should be taken with a grain of salt. Kobe knew the cameras were on him, and it was a blowout win in a regular season game. It’s a situation more conducive to him being relaxed. He’s not a bad guy at all, just a savage competitor.
Pau Gasol’s head (from Game 6) would beg to differ about the personality issues. Trust me, I’ve defended Kobe to the death. As fans we love his intensity and work ethic. But I just think it’s hard for him to be “one of the guys” because he doesn’t truly understand it. He’s spent his whole life trying to separate himself from the pack. There’s no denying he can be very harsh on his teammates. It’s the same reason I think Garnett and Michael Jordan would make poor coaches – their intensity and impatience isn’t a good thing when it comes to managing delicate egos.
If Kobe had coached the Warriors, Kobe would have strangled Sprewell long before Latrell would have raised a hand. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but probably not Hall-of-Fame Coach worthy.
It’s interesting to think about what effects Phil showing them a MJ game will have on Kobe. If it was that 92 Game 7, well…MJ had 29 in the first half of that one. Not that Kobe needs any more encouragement, but I think it’s almost a certainty that unless they double, he’s going to be looking for his shot early, try to calm the others down and set the tone.
My only hope is that he looks for his shot on the drive, or else posting up. That’s what will open the game up for others, not midrange jumpers (even if he does shoot them at a blistering clip).
Don W says
I enjoyed the documentary. It’s nice (and weird) to see our Lakers in situations outside of the normal NBA broadcasts. The up-close camera work was beautiful, and I enjoyed it immensely in HD.
I thought they could’ve done more with it though. Kobe’s commentary was bland at times. And the live instructions he was giving to his teammates was like those ‘Wired’ or ‘Inside Trax’ segments-a little too obvious to be too interesting IMO.
How come nobody initiates conversation w/ Kobe though?
Don: You do not address the Mamba unless spoken to. First law of survival.
Far worse…Kobe On Ice!
Great Wall says
I watched the documetary in Houston. It was nice to see Kobe being more light-hearted and joking with teammates in different languages. I admire Kobe’s work ethic, determination, and abilities, but as an opposing fan it is very easy to dislike Kobe for his arrogance and aloofness. Look, talking trash is is part of the game and many of the greatest players in history have been good at it. The difference is that Kobe doesn’t leave it on the court, he broadcasts for commentators and camaeras to hear and often doesn’t show much grace in interviews. He is one of the greatest players in recent memory, but not equal to Jordan at the moment. Just thought that you might like the opinion of someone removed from seeing Kobe everyday.
Am I the only one who thought the whole thing was an exercise in banality?
The music was terrible, there wasn’t much insight on what really went on in game preparation, and it made it seem like Phil didn’t do anything but get interrupted by Kobe. I really didn’t learn anything too interesting from the whole thing and Kobe, I think, was the main culprit. Maybe his personality just that interesting, but I kind of wish this documentary took place 20 years ago with Charles Barkley
Slightly off topic… but I cannot imagine the Lakers losing tomorrow. I mean how could that be possible? How could Kobe’s aggression, passion, and determination allow that to happen? It can’t. Then, why the heck are we nervous?
Nice documentary, however I wish Spike actually focused on the team more. I wish he had portrayed the locker room before the game and after, with all the players joking around with one another. It was great to see Kobe look at himself and be able to laugh at himself and etc. However, i think it would have been way more interesting with some comments from Lamar and etc.
Random question everyone:
Do you guys watch the games alone or with other people ? I am watching the game with others tomorrow and I don’t know if it’s a good idea! I am not anti-social at all, lol, however I really do not watch games with most people.
Feedback will be appreciated!
Hey all, first time commenting, though I’ve read for a while. Just wanted to weigh in:
I was looking forward to this doc quite a bit, and found it pretty unenlightening. If anything, I’m leaning some towards Claudzilla’s opinion–though I’m not quite as down on it as I think he is. The music was a bit on-the-nose (we get it, Spike, basketball is like jazz) and I couldn’t shake the feeling that the whole time (especially off the court, like the halftime and post-game shots from the locker room) Kobe and Phil were really aware of the cameras and were acting accordingly.
That said, I probably saw this game live last year, and may or may not have thought anything was out of the ordinary, so I may be way off.
I think I was looking for a bit more of a window into the intensity of the competition–and you would think Bowen on Kobe is a golden opportunity. With even a pure audio track, I think I would’ve been more pleased. We got a hint of what goes on, what with yelling “gotcha” on the 3 and asking Thomas if he’s going to play until he’s 50, but the editing still made it feel like there was a lot we were held off from. Showing more of the prep would’ve been great too. Kobe’s pregame work is the stuff of legend, why not give it more than a glancing reference?
On the plus side, I think Spike did a great job capturing the physicality–the effort of hustling that hard for that long (even in what ends up a relatively relaxed blow-out), and the impact of a lot of the contact. At the end of the day, though, there were things I wanted from the flick that it didn’t deliver.
Also, Stephen, 2 thoughts come to mind when I think of “Kobe on Ice.” The first is that he’s probably got the body control and grace to be a hell of a figure skater. The second is that he’d probably take off his skate and try to stab a guy with it, Happy Gilmore style.
Sorry about the length of the post, it’s Saturday night and I’m not exactly at my peak.
just got back watching star trek the beginning (after wolverine, this movie seems oscar worthy; but then again there’s much more to work with) and i’m seeing the feedback i thought the movie would get on this board.
snippets were good in some way, but after watching movies for 30 years or so you tend to know how things are going to unfold if those are the snippets shown to attract people.
oh well, i can only hope they release the DVD soon cause there’s no way that it’s opening here…
jac; you really gotta watch sports in a group. the experience is just unreal if you haven’t before, especially if all of you are rooting for the same team.
crazy stuff happens when you watch soccer together, and that’s why it’s really not a bad idea to watch sports on a date.
at least that way you’re guaranteed a moral victory 😉
I prefer to watch games either alone or w/ hardcore Laker fans. Casual fans and fans of other teams at some point will say something unflattering about my team, ask an igonorant question at a critical moment or just irritate me in general.
I just watch games with others who do not mind my on-the-edge-of-the-chair excitement and rooting, along with my comments as to what went good or bad in the last play.
I’ve been watching the games with my girlfriend (a Houston Rockets fan – but also a Lakers fan because I force her to be). We actually broke up during this series. I’m not kidding. I don’t think the series had anything to do with it, but it’s an interesting footnote, isn’t it?
lil' pau says
‘Try to relax…’ (yeah, right, sure…)
11 hours, 7 minutes to tipoff….
I want the Lakers to win like I want to keep breathing, but I will say this: if Houston manages to: (1) beat the Lakers in a game 7, (2) at Staples, (3) which would mean taking 3 of the last 4, (4) all without Yao, TMac, and the octogenarian from the Congo, then I will smile through my tears and wish that remarkable team luck winning a championship and acknowledge what a great story it is that they represent.
That said, I hope we throttle them and dance on their corpses, then shave ‘Please Return to the Mental Ward’ on Artest’s dome.
From the official laker blog: “Sasha Vujacic, who like Fisher has struggled with his shot in the playoffs (24.6 percent), was still on the court shooting an hour after the first interview was conducted. After hitting 13-of-14 shots in seven spots around the 3-point line, Vujacic made 10 straight free throws, then 10 more with his eyes shut. “OK, now I can go,” he said before finally walking into the locker room.”
Just wondering what this means for the debate over his shot. Is it a horrible pressure caused downward spiral of his confidence? The fact that he doesn’t take those kind of open shots since he’s doing it off the dribble etc?
Joel Paris says
I’m nervous. Who knows how the Lakers will play? Cracking my first beer shortly…
Snoopy, again, watch the documentary. I already mentioned that Kobe would be on his best behavior because of the cameras, but he’s not that good of an actor, and his teammates aren’t either. If there was tension you’d see the subtext.
The reason it changed my mind about Kobe as a potential coach is his sheer basketball geek factor. I loved hearing all of little adjustments and ideas he had during the game. I’d also love to see something like this with Steve Nash or Jason Kidd.
It was also refreshing to see him simply say “that was a dumb play of mine” on a few occasions, combined with the sense that he doesn’t dwell on it and moves on. And I think he staked which side of the “hot hand” debate he’s on when he said if the first 7 shots don’t go in, then he’s due for the 8th to be a bucket.
Guys, know of any Lakers bar in Houston?
I usually watch Laker games by myself. I get way too into the games to be bothered. My girlfriend is fearful of me when she happens to be in the room while I’m watching. Otherwise, if it’s any other team I like to watch with a group of people who know the game of basketball well.
As for the game today, I really don’t have a good feeling about it. The Rockets have nothing to lose, so they will play loose and I fear some of the Lakers players will play tight. I think we have to jump on the Rockets early. If it’s even after the the 1st quarter, we could be in trouble.
Jac – It really depends on your personality. In general, sports are fun to watch with large groups of friends, although (like someone mentioned) casual fans can be annoying because they talk at the wrong time and ask pointless questions and take you out of the game. Important games (like Game 7) I really get into, so I prefer to watch those only with a couple of people who know me really well and are willing to put up with my mood swings and putting my fist through a wall.
Just depends on your personality. Try both and see which you like better.
new post up
Four more damn hours…
lakers vs nuggets preview:
kobe doin work review:
read em, tell me what you think
Brian Tung says
michael (40): Interesting write-up. I think one thing I’d keep in mind is that the cameras were all on Kobe. Just as with TNT when they mike someone up, you only get to hear that one player. For all we know that chatter all goes both ways. I’m quite sure that Fisher at the very least is confident enough to give as well as he gets from Kobe.
I missed the first hour of the show, but have been watching the second hour. I like jazz, but have not noticed the music at all. Complete non-starter. The camera work is a little too jittery for me; I realize it’s intended to give the work a bit of a cinema verite feel, but honestly, that whole feel is overdone and here it just feels hackneyed.
I remember watching this game live, and hearing Mike Breen (?) mention Spike and the fact that he was basically instrumenting the hell out of this game.
As far as Kobe is concerned, I haven’t learned much about Kobe I didn’t know before. One thing I didn’t really appreciate before was the way he talks to refs, at least in this game. I didn’t like it. He comes off as patronizing and if I were a ref that act would wear thing pretty quick.
All that said, I’m finding the show enjoyable to watch as a whole. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Kobe, that I think haters in general look almost exclusively for stuff that puts him in a poor light. There’s some of that stuff here, but unsurprisingly it’s biased quite comfortably in favor of our leading man.