This Lakers’ season represents the battle between two distinct lines of thought. The first is that the Lakers are a team, whether they admit it or not, in need of a rebuild. Rebuilding teams need young assets. Young assets are acquired through the draft. The Lakers owe a draft pick to the Suns and will give that pick this season if it falls outside the top 5 in the upcoming draft. This leads to a strong contingent of Lakers fans — even Magic Johnson — to say that the Lakers should lose as many games as they can in order to try and keep that pick to draft another young player who can be an asset towards the rebuild.
The second is that the Lakers have never really rebuilt before, typically foregoing building through the draft in favor of winning as many games as possible and either flipping assets for better players or signing key players in free agency who help propel the roster. The way you make assets desirable in trades or make the team seem ready for impact free agents to jump on and help the roster is to be a team that is not awful. The Lakers, then, might prefer to be as good as they can, winning as many games as they can, to promote an image to other teams and free agents that they are close to winning.
Neither of these lines of thought is wrong. And both are wrought with assumptions and difficulties that will be highly influenced by individuals making choices, some luck, and the growth and development of players striving to reach their potential. If rebuilding were easy, there would be much more parity in this league and there wouldn’t be teams that historically produce poor results year after year.
I bring all this up because the Lakers, after winning two consecutive games and with another winnable game on the docket tonight against the T’Wolves are slowly moving away from a record that would keep them in the top 5 picks in the draft and, thus, making the first path described above harder to venture down. All the while this team is still very unlikely to be able to travel down path number two very easily without a bigger influx of talent that is ready to win now. All of this will make for a very interesting run up to the trade deadline, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Back to today, then, the Lakers face a Wolves team who they already lost to earlier this year at Staples Center. And while there will be some focus on revenge and trying to get a third consecutive win for the first time this year, the fact is that the biggest story heading into tonight has nothing to do with any of those things. No, tonight is about Kobe Byrant and his bid to pass Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list. With 9 points, Kobe will pass MJ for 3rd in career points. As I’ve said earlier this will be a major accomplishment and something that is worth tuning in for even if you’re not a Kobe or a Lakers’ fan. This is rarified air (no pun intended) and Kobe will further cement his name in the history books with this accomplishment.
In any event, tonight will likely provide a few different moments to ponder. Kobe’s pursuit of individual records are a reminder that even though this is a team game, the all-time greats are what this sport is built on. From Mikan to Wilt to the Big O to the Doctor to Magic and Bird to Jordan to Shaq and Duncan and Kobe and LeBron this game has always been about the titans of the sport. On the other hand, the Lakers, as a team are in the middle of a transition and, in a way, are riding out these final moments of Kobe’s career until the next great one will anchor their franchise. The path they take to get their will inspire much debate, but as long as they get there none of us will really care.
Where you can watch: 4:00pm start time on TWC Sportsnet. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.
the Lakers have certainly rebuilt before.
when West and Wilt retired, the team was completely revamped. when Magic retired, the team was in shambles…
let’s enjoy a game!
i’m looking for a win!
Sort of fitting that Kobe’s latest milestone accomplishment occurs in the original home city of the Lakers. I’m sure Geo. Mikan is gathering his old teammates tonight at a big man-cave in the sky to enjoy the game.
Joe D says
“This is rarified air (no pun intended)”
Better to use different words than not intend a pun.
Regarding winning or losing, I say just do your best whether you’re on the bench, in the front office, or in the stands. They’ll be good even if they don’t land another superstar. Worse than that is overpaying the Josh Smith’s, Charlie Villanueva’s, and Ben Gordon’s of the NBA.
Don’t look now. But if the Lakers win today in Minnesota (and I expect them to be primed for revenge), then they will have gone 7-7 since starting the season 1-9. That means that they will have played .500 ball over a 14-game span.
Going .500 for significant chunks of the season is hardly the stuff that tanks are made of. I have a feeling that the Lakers are not in the bottom 5 of teams in the NBA and by the time the season is over may not even be in the bottom 10.
All this talk of tanking, then, will have been a hallucination…not to mention a waste of breath.
I expect the Lakers to win tonight. Let’s see what happens.
Minnesota is unusually warm this weekend, so that’s something (I live here). Too bad I have finals this week or else I would have tried to see Kobe in person :/
Thomas Rickard says
The Lakers will never tank, last year was evidence of that, winning the last 2 games proved that players given the chance will play to win, and I hope that never changes, I would like to see them add at least one more player, it should probably be a PG, Price isn’t the answer.
FYI: Robert flew to Minnesota this morning and will be at the game, front row behind the Lakers’ bench. He likes to be there when KB hits a milestone.
They may not have much talent but they are the only team in any sport I follow. No matter what happens tonight, I’ll still be a Laker fan tomorrow. Go LAKERS!!
Bill Simmons on his podcast named James Harden as the league MVP so far. Which means that a matter-antimatter type annihilation of two ESPN narratives might be in the offing …
Kobe: 39% shooting, 22 FGA -> all-time bad efficiency, ball hog, destroying the Lakers
Harden: 42% shooting, 19 FGA -> MVP candidate
-Hat off to LKK’s post: “Sort of fitting that Kobe’s latest milestone accomplishment occurs in the original home city of the Lakers. I’m sure Geo. Mikan is gathering his old teammates tonight at a big man-cave in the sky to enjoy the game.” Minny is the birthplace of the Laker franchise and is the perfect place for Kobe reach his next historical milestone.
-Victory over Spurs was a nice win, however if the Lakers lose this game it means nothing. T ‘Wolves are a bad, inexperienced team with a number of injuries ( Mo Williams, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, & Shabazz Muhammad). Add in the fact there’s no way the Lakers can overlook this team since they lost to them just over two weeks ago.
-I’m glad Kobe is in position to pass Jordan early in the game as opposed to late.
-Mid-Wilshire:”if the Lakers win today in Minnesota (and I expect them to be primed for revenge), then they will have gone 7-7 since starting the season 1-9. That means that they will have played .500 ball over a 14-game span”. Nice catch M-W. Darius, if this happens it would be interesting to statistically compare the team, players, & coach to see what they were doing in the first 10 games vs what they are doing in the last 14 games…hopefully you agree. It would be an interesting post.
-@ BlizzardofOz, not to mention the difference in the standings of their two teams and how each handled major injuries to teammates.
-Lakers @ 8-16?? Kobe passing MJ? Getting my popcorn ready.
I actually think this Lakers roster has talent. It just has almost no defensive talent. Lin is a great PnR PG, but he rarely gets to run PnR at all, its all pick n’ pops with Hill/Boozer. So teams clog the middle on us. Byron Scott said he wanted to the Lakers to attack the paint, not shoot many 3’s. Yet their offensive set-ups basically allow teams to clog the paint. Swaggy helps a bit at least, but 15 footers really doesn’t “spread” the court much.
Hill is a really good PF but a very mediocre Center. We basically have one center who rarely plays, so we play a bunch of PF’s. Davis is talented athletically and defensively. Kobe is talented at drawing double teams and getting off crazy hard shots. Swaggy is a talented 3 point shooter and good at gettting his shot off like Kobe. Boozer is still a good offensive player, his defense is just trash now.
So I see why Kobe/Lin both mentioned fitting the “puzzle” and “chess” earlier in the season. Perhaps they realize they have a bunch of 1 dimensional players, guys who are only great at one thing. Even Kobe is no longer a 2 way player. Give this team a real defensive center like Asik and another true SF that’s 6’7 or so that can back-up or start over Wes Johnson and I think this team does pretty well. But they basically have 5 power forwards, with Randle & Kelly both being injured. They have Ellington sometimes play the 3, even though he’s only 6’4″. Even Swaggy is more like a 2 guard, despite his height. This team just wasn’t built well from a position standpoint–not merely light on talent. Why they got 5 PF’s is beyond me, especially with Randle being drafted. Hopefully they get a Center and SF next year. But I’m still afraid they are going to break the bank on an old star like Rondo, who isn’t a star anymore he’s just a great passer that rebounds like crazy. If they do that, its going to be a long decade of watching the Lakers do poorly and endlessly rebuild blown up rosters.
I was very shocked that the Lakers did not acquire a decent center this offseason. As you stated, Hill is out of position at the 5 and undersized. A defensive minded center would solidify this team. To my way of thinking, it’s the #1 need at present.
Well, let me say for the record that im not a big fan of bringing Rondo here, first and foremost, he is a Celtic and i hate every single one of them past present and future. I have a begrudging respect for Celtic teams of the 80s and before but i despise every single team and member of Doc Rivers Celtics “era” even though that “era” produced a single chip. Second and most important, Rondo is what, 30 already?and injury prone. The FO dont need to make a move like these to appease fans or media, a team with Rondo and Kobe would not turn things around, specially since Ainge would ask for everything he could get his hands on. No no no!!!On to tonight’s game, are we on the verge of a 3 game winning streak? Could it be?Well since that 1-9 putrid start the team is playing 500 ball, not the standard we are used to but better than expected all things considered. People can say what they want about Scott, but i looks like the team is responding to him. And is playing the brand of basketball he want them to play. Kobe *%#@&@ Bryant, what else can be said about the man? Another milestone from one of the best players of all time and in a tie as the best Laker of all time. Winnable game, lets get this,go Lakers!!!!!
Robert flew to Minnesota this morning and will be at the game, front row behind the Lakers’ bench.
Good for him. IMO – although we have many – he seems to be the biggest Kobe fan within our FB&G Community. Maybe he’ll be able to give us some behind the scenes incite (especially with those seats).
Get rid of the zone. I’m no laker or kobe fan but he would be where Kareem is if they got rid of the zone. Jordan had the privilege of going 1 on 1 his whole career. If Kobe had the same I know he would have passed Jordan by now.
I’m jealous man! This is a great game to be there for Kobe.
Hate you Robert!!!!! Enjoy!!!
Have not watched a game in a while. Based on first 8 minutes all I can say is Kobe on offense and defense looks terrible. Missed all 5 shots, steps out of bounds and got burned 3 times on defense. Also this team is terrible defending the basket. Boozer is really bad. Easy to see why their record is so bad,
How did this happen?
right on Robert! (&thanks rr)
Is it just me or has Sacre become….a serviceable big? Good start for the Lakers!
Lil pau says
Kobe better step it up or Robert is going to have to fly to Indiana.
Some team is going to offer Boozer a few million to come off the bench and score some points. He still has a lot of offensive savvy. Same thing with Lin, if they don’t keep him, he will be a great super sub for a good team. Who knows maybe the Lakers will offer them something next year, but I’m guessing its going to be lowball vet min or something.
Still can’t believe Kemba Walker makes 12million, man every free agent should try and get overpaid by Jordan.
Lil pau says
Kobe: lob to yourself off the backboard on the 2nd FT!!!
Dude you so love killing Boozer on Twitter!
Congratulations to Kobe Bryant now #3 on the all-time scoring list.He makes 2 FTs to pass Michael Jordan.
Lil pau says
Did Kobe just give Robert the game ball?
I’ve been killing Sacre this entire time. He’s really put in a lot of work. Not nearly the magnitude of Meeks’ improvement last year but very respectable improvement in his game.
Kobe Bryant with a billion points in his career to pass Michael Jordan’s 1 billion minus one. On with the game.
Why Jordan Hill doesn’t take that kick out from Kobe and go towards the hole instead of settling for that 18 footer is one thing that infuriates me about his game.
Hale, I agree with you. He is our “big” but almost never scores near the hoop anymore. I think he (Hill) fell in love with his set-shot. Both our bigs seem to like to play offense from 15-18 feet out.
The second unit continues to look better offensively and defensively than the 1st, which is a bit surprising at least regarding the defense.
@Hale Hill is been hitting that shot consistenly all year, thats a freebie shot. If he can hit it im fine with it.
Kobe Bean Bryant!!!!! It’s been a pleasure. I’ve watched you on television or live score nearly everyone of those points.
Congrats, Kobe Bean Bryant!!! A remarkable career with more to come!! Let the the pundits pundit and the critics critique! By any standard, one of the all time greats and MY favorite Laker of all time!
He’s hitting it better than anytime in his career but he’s trailing off a bit over the last few games that I’ve seen; I’d rather see him mix a couple of strong moves to the hole instead of settling. It’s passive energy. Settle when you’re old and don’t move as well. This is also probably his healthiest time as a Laker.
Wes Johnson with some good individual defense after sleepwalking with Ed Davis.
Carlos Boozer has been playing very well lately….
I think Zach Lavine has the raw tools to be a star… It will come down to his work ethic.
Replay of last game. No point guard and Kobe under 33%. Perhaps mr. Scott should put Price or Lin in as this is not working.
They need to make an adjustment. The trap is coming the same way. They know his dribble is compromised and there is limited poise once the ball leaves Kobe’s hand.
Wah wah wah, Lakers won, be happy for crissakes
Kinda funny how we’re winning games despite Kobe gunning for the record with dismal shooting percentage.
Lakers win three in a row. Lakers win three in a row!
devean george forever says
I would have been good with tanking but looks like that’s not going to happen unless Kobe or Swaggy goes down for a while
Missed game. No TV or reception here. Congrats to KB and 3 an row with new starting lineup.
Just saw Robert flew there. Super fan!
“Kinda funny how we’re winning games despite Kobe gunning for the record with dismal shooting percentage.”
It’s funny to you, really, that we are winning a couple of games “despite” one of the greatest ever (albeit past his prime) being the focal point of the offense? As I pointed out earlier, Kobe’s “dismal” shooting percentage is slightly below James Harden, whom the same people that lambaste Kobe are touting as an MVP candidate.
Concerning ESPN’s barrage of “advice” to the Lakers on how to win more games by sidelining Kobe: notice that they are in the position of a classic concern troll. These ESPN writers have always openly hated the Lakers, so what should we make of this purported advice? You could say it is just a ruse to criticize Kobe, and of course that is part of it. But I think their obsessive focus betrays that they are freaked out about Kobe’s rise in the all-time scoring list. They want to see their narrative of him as a one-dimensional gunner prevail, and they are seeing it slip away.
C’mon guys, you are in the Lakerland, our teams don’t tank, we always fight back. Besides, if you want to get a profile of teams that have 1st round draft picks, Minny is one of them, composed of young, energetic and out of control cheetahs. Championship teams are hybrid of veterans, youth and great defensive teams who’d keep on improving every year by fighting back in beating their stats. from previous years, not cheating the system by tanking. Another example are the Clippers, every year they have this loser mentality of overhauling their roster, trade their productive players then go on draft picks, it created instability and loser mentality. The last two seasons, they gained confidence after being in the playoffs. Some posters are advocating to trade Hill and Young or Kobe!!!
I guess the $ 24M paid to Kobe this year yield a good rate of return for the Buss Family while the $ 9M paid to Nash considered as bad investment because of his bad back. If Lakers didn’t sign Kobe, well another team would have signed him for the same or more than that amount. You only realize what you lost when they’re gone. Our problems in questioning the price of the product is our focus on CBA rules. Why don’t you look at the treasury chest of the Buss Family sitting idle this year within the cap yet they continue charging premiums on season tickets and other Lakers paraphernalia including the cable deal. TWC doesn’t really care because it will be part of the Comcast merger. Buss Family did not pay estate taxes on Jerry’s passing, it all embedded on the trust which is the Lakers. They could afford a luxury tax, a repeater tax just based on the revenues that can be derived, if Lakers are a competitive or vying for Championship. Unfortunately, the Big Gambler is no longer with us, so we can ride with wishy-washy children who are unsure whether to splurge or to be a tightwad.
I bet after Kobe’s retirement with the Lakers, another team here in NBA or abroad are willing to pay him $20M. It is all about economics as long as there is a demand, the supply of another Kobe will be scarce so teams are willing to pay the premium because of the goodwill and image created for their franchise. The condition is that as long as he could still play to NBA standard. Just my opinion.
Kevin T says
First of all, congratulations to Kobe Bryant. I’m delighted for him. Passing Michael Jordan for number 3 on the all time scoring list is obviously a great achievement. Kudos to Kobe.
Regarding the Lakers win tonight, well done. Yes, I know. Minnesota is banged up and undermanned (probably more so than any other team in the league). Even so, the Lakers have now won 3 games in a row. They’ve held 2 of their last 3 opponents to under 100 points (Sacramento and Minnesota, both teams missing key players).
Also, the Lakers are now officially playing .500 ball in the last 14 games ever since Nick Young returned to the line up. They’re also 3-1 with their most recent line up changes.
Now, it would be easy to quibble and say that the Lakers have won several games against opponents that are battling injuries to key players. But it’s not exactly as if the Lakers are at full strength themselves. They are not at full strength and they won’t be for the rest of the year.
The Lakers, in short, seem to have improved. Their defense is better. Their scoring off the bench is vastly improved. They’re finishing games stronger. And they’re competing.
This is not a championship team. They’re probably not a playoff team. But they seem to have become competitive. And lately they’re playing well on the road.
Things seem to be jelling a bit. This is a very different team than the one that opened the season 1-9. Or is it just my imagination?
Or is it just my imagination?
This is still a very bad team. Prior to this little streak, they had lost by 16, 17, and 17. They have nine double-figure losses and two double-figure wins.
That noted, they are doing as well as they can right now, though, so some people might want to give Scott and Kobe a break for 24 hours or so. Boozer, another guy with a target on his back, had a 22/13 in 27 minutes tonight. Guys like Lin, Young, and Boozer, and at a different level, Kobe; will have big nights sometimes. That is one reason why if this is a stealth tank job, it is a sloppy one.
Also, they are actually healthier than many teams right now. SA didn’t have Leonard, and SAC didn’t have Cousins.
Their record is as good as it is because they have managed to beat three winning teams, but two of those are from the East. Basically, they have one win against winning teams from the West, the San Antonio game, and that was more or less a miracle.
So…the losses will start piling up again when they play the good teams from the West again. But the next one is at Indiana, and Indiana is awful right now, so the Lakers could make it four in a row.
Give Scott and the players a little credit. People have been laughing at them, but they are taking this season seriously, and power to them.
Thanks rr – for letting everyone know. First chance to post. Full report tomorrow. Check this out. I have to share this with everyone. Watch the beginning. As Kobe is hitting the FTs, I am behind the Laker coaches in a dark purple shirt (double fist pump at 0.22 and again at 0:40). Then at 2:10, I am the guy jumping up and down behind Byron and Kobe (between the two signs). I have been to many games but this could have been the best. It was a coronation.
Blizzard of Oz- Your post was excellent with two valid observations: 1) Kobe v. Harden, and Kobe v. Media. Awesome!
James Harden’s cast of players is better than Kobe’s so they’re winning games. If Kobe were Harden’s age right now, I’d venture to guess this exact team would net a few extra wins to this point.
Robert, I can’t wait for the next Kobe Alert. Hopefully, it’ll include some court-side observations.
That is all.
Renato Afonso says
Indiana won’t be easy because if Hill is undersized in most games, he’ll be extremely undersized against Hibbert… I’m not expecting much.
Regarding the Lakers, even if we are playing .500 ball right now, I don’t believe we’re doing it in a sustainable way. Our defensive schemes and rotations have not improved (opponents are missing shots on their own) and we’ll surely win less and less. I’m not saying we are the 1-9 team but we’re not the 7-7 team either. We’re a 30 win team…
-Nice Laker win.
-Congrats Kobe, 3rd place on the NBA all time scoring list belongs to you. Highest scoring wing all time.
-.100 team 1st 10 games, .500 team last 14 games…what’s changed?
-Pacers tonight…winnable game…four in a roll??? If so, we’ll start hearing play-off talk again.
That’s pretty cool Robert! Congrats on being there for the big moment!
First of all, congrats to kobe!
Secound, i am really sad about the way some of u guys try to discredit what has happened with this team and espacially what kind of adjustments brought us to playing .500 ball….
Coach has put boozer on the bench, which motivated him and now he looks like booz of old over stretches, at least on O…also, lin seems to play, in his words, free over the last couple of games in his new role leading the bench mob…it really wasnt about our s5 at the beginning, our bench got destroyed reguallary by the opponent….i think our starters will do just fine with kobe drawing double teams and guys knocking down shots off of it…
Furthermore, i think ed presents a better threat alongside hill than booz on d, and sacre does a great job giving effort on that side from the bench…his evolitipn is nothing to overlook
And with guys having more and more confidence, i think we could keep it roling to get at least a 35win season….which would be the worst case scenario from a rebuilding standpoint, but i am cool with it cause i hatr seeing us lose
Well, sarcasm really is hard to get across on the web. I thought it would be kinda obvious that it came across for what I meant it to say since this was more or less a place for congratulations regardless of how he did it, but oh well.
While I do wish Kobe shot a higher percentage, the Lakers are winning with him taking those shots, so I was pointing out that maybe there is more to it than the low percentages. I constantly have to point out to others that Kobe consistently takes those end-of-the-quarter heaves that really destroy his shooting percentage, as well as, of course, those end of shotclock shots that don’t do his percentages much good either.
Maybe someone could be bothered to see if there is a way to get rid of all those shots that come within 1 second of the clock (be it end of quarter or shotclock) and see what his percentage is then.
I see you Robert Lol.
You looked exactly like I felt that moment!
great to witness history in the making.
And to all tank talk proponents, please read the posts on the previous board.
The Dane says
If you look at this video analysis of Kobe’s game, then it seems there are fewer end of shot clock heaves than we would like to think:
If the FO truly wants to win and not tank, then we shall see if they are buyers instead of sellers since today is the 1st day guys who signed in the off-season can be traded. Curious to see if they dump Nash’s $9.7M for someone who can actually contribute. And even if they end up with 30-35 wins and not make the playoffs, hopefully the lottery gods intervene and they end up with top 3 pick.
Question to anyone, can Lakers reinstate the trade exceptions and combine them with Nash for possible trade?
That’s funny – I was attuned to the irony, obviously, but oblivious to your intent (Poe’s law in effect). You have a point about the timing, but then again, wouldn’t it be just like a hater to make that point at that time? 😛 (And when it comes to haters, I write from experience :-)).
I guess your post triggered a sort of epiphany for me with regards to the media’s sudden barrage of Kobe-related hatchet jobs early this season. It all makes sense when you realize that, when Kobe came out leading the league in scoring, it became evident that he has an outside chance at catching Kareem for the all-time scoring record. This really freaked out the respectable, unbiased journalists over at ESPN.
I think what happened is — they feel like they have control of the narrative, but if Kobe should sniff that record, along with his existing 5 titles, then it becomes much more difficult to ignore his accomplishments. I am sure they consider it “cheating” that he is able to gun for the record, leading the league in shot attempts on a bad team. They wanted to try and plant the seed, that if he does approach the record, it should somehow be considered illegitimate (I believe that their efforts on this front would be futile, and I think they know it).
This kind of behavior from the mensa members over at ESPN is similar to an episode a few years ago at the “moneyball” conference hosted by that computer nerd posing as basketball expert, Daryl Morey. You may recall that they enjoyed a little circle-jerk where they snickered over people who think that greatness is determined by championships. The joke was that only unwashed losers think that “ringzzz” determine greatness, whereas members of the cognitive elite like Henry Abbott, with his passing aquaintence with grade-school algebra and lower-division statistics, know that greatness is really determined numbers cherry-picked from a spreadsheet.
They are also looking at the uncomfortable fact of the two all-time leading scorers being 5- and 6-time champion Lakers. I guess my main point is that the scoring record is a big deal, and I’m glad Kobe is going for it (especially since the team is so dismal at the moment). I hope he gets the record.
Robert, prior to your post I somehow knew that was you!
Kobe looked jubilant.
And with guys having more and more confidence, i think we could keep it roling to get at least a 35win season….which would be the worst case scenario from a rebuilding standpoint, but i am cool with it cause i hatr seeing us lose
i feel exactly the same way
very cool man! glad one of us was there for the `coronation´, as you´d described it.
Let´s get another one tonight!!
thanks for the link, interesting stuff –
Old-timer – the exceptions can’t be combined and they expire March 10. What they could do is sign a player w the 4.85 mill and 1.5 mill exceptions separately or trade nash’s contract for another player/asset. They could then possibly bundle that player and nashs contract in a trade, however they would have to insure that they didn’t exceed the roster limit of 15 – once they trade nash’s contract they lose their hardship exception (which allows the Lakers to sign a 16th man due to injuries – so they’d have to cut a guy if a healthy player/s come back in a trade – if they use the hardship exception (which I believe expired a couple days ago but can be reinstated)
Wasn’t talking about this game in particular, and to be honest, if we think about just the end of quarters, it would shave off, what, maximum 2~3 shots per game? Not a big difference, and then it would be arguable that a lot of it him placing himself in that position too.
At any rate, I think the Kobe shooting thing is like the argument about ‘what if Shaq was as motivated as Kobe.’ In the end, it is who he is, and yes there may have been some untapped potential, but god dangit, what they tapped was pretty good and who knows if that’s why they were as successful as they were.
While I say all of this, part of me is forever sort of sad that they did not bring out the imaginary best that we believe that they could have. Kobe with a bit more of an assist-mind could have probably carved out a career that can be compared much more favorably against Jordan and he probably does not suffer the achilles injury giving him more games to catch up with Malone. Anyway, this is all pointless. Kobe is who he is, and who he is/was is damn good. No need to ask for more, really.
Oh boy … I just have to laugh at this, which I found after leaving my last comment. It’s not just that the ESPN/Grantland crew are wrong and biased — they are all wrong and biased in the same way, using the same words.
Check out this new Grantland emission today about the Lakers, first the trusty old Kobe-is-inefficient trope:
“Astride the smoking wreckage and smoldering confetti stands Kobe Bryant, the last remnant of a simpler, more inefficient age. I keep thinking I should stop writing about Kobe. I keep thinking there are only so many ways to talk about a player who now delivers his signature 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists like some unholy combination of Ricky Roma, Colonel Jessup, and J.K. Simmons from Whiplash.”
And then, literally one sentence later (does this guy even think about what he’s writing?), the spanking new Harden-is-MVP trope:
“So, point taken: We should be talking about how the Spurs are still Spurs-ing, how good the Warriors and Grizzlies are, how James Harden is putting up MVP numbers.”
So to recap: Kobe at 39% is a joke, an inefficient dinosaur; Harden at 42% is the league MVP. I don’t even know what to say other than: what a bunch of clowns. Does Grantland have any editors, or do their writers just sit around all day congratulating each other on how hip and smart they all are?
Craig W. says
The ‘talking heads’ have never been known for being unbiasd and their prime motivation would seem to be attention. I have stopped reading or paying any attention to them. I suggest other bloggers here do the same.