Supplies are limited and all the cool kids at school will have them. Don’t miss out — operators are standing by.
(Joke stolen from the twitter account of friend of this site J.D. Hastings, who you should follow for the art and jazz talk, too.)
There has been some talk in the comments about Kobe’s defense — his penchant to save energy for the offensive end and gamble more than makes people comfortable at times. I think Darius had a great point and a great place to keep the conversation going:
I don’t see the need to harp on his defense. There are probably 5 or 6 SG’s in the entire league that are main contributors to their teams offense – Wade, Roy, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Eric Gordon, Monta Ellis (throw in Manu if you want, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten one or two) – and Kobe plays hard on defense against all of them for every minute they share the court. For the players that aren’t true offensive threats or focal points for their team, Kobe takes a different defensive strategy. I really don’t see a problem with this. Could he close out harder at times? Sure, but do you really want to run out hard at Ronnie Brewer or Sefalosha? Do you really want our main perimeter threat, a player that despite his fundamental and precision on offense, expends the most energy on offense of any player on our team running around and chasing low quality offensive (non)threats just to show that he’s committed to defense? I’d lean towards no on questions like those. On a side note, it’s not like Phil treats Kobe the same way he treated MJ when he was at this stage of his career (and by that I mean years in the league, games played, minutes accumulated, etc). By the time Jordan was a 13 year vet with all those minutes played, Phil put Jordan on the weakest possible wing offense player or a player that Jordan could use his size and smarts against to disrupt while leaving the bigger threats to Pippen and Ron Harper. But with Kobe (pre Artest), Phil often put Kobe on the best wing offensive player for long stretches when he knew he needed that defensive presence – guys like ‘Melo, Lebron, and Pierce even when those guys aren’t natural match ups for Kobe.