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Kobe Bryant is a loser on Christmas

Celticslakersxmas Hard to believe but, yes, Kobe Bryant has a losing record---at least in Christmas Day games. He and the Lakers are 5-6 on Dec. 25th since he entered the NBA in 1996.

Of course, on Friday Bryant can reach the .500 plateau on Xmas if the Lakers beat the Cavaliers--and LeBron and Shaq--at Staples Center in one of the league’s marquee games. The other big match-up: Boston Celtics at the Orlando Magic.

This will be the Lakers and Kobe’s 11th straight Christmas game. (I knew a Florida businessman named Edward "Buddy" LeRoux, a Celtics trainer during the Bill Russell-era in the 1960s, who told me he never had Christmas off till he left the NBA.)

The league has long offered up rivalries in holiday games, and if you look back at who the Lakers have played on Christmas, it’s a bit like the NBA version of an archaeological dig, one that reveals rivalries of long ago. On Christmas in 1999 the Lakers, then on the cusp of the Kobe-Shaq three-peat dynasty, played the Spurs—the other team of this decade--followed by Xmas battles against Portland, Philadelphia (rematch of the 2001 NBA Finals), Sacramento (Webber-Bibby-Divac-Stojakovic-Christie-Turkoglu), Houston, three contests against Miami and a former Laker center named O’Neal, Phoenix (D’Antoni’s seven-seconds-to-shoot team), and last year against the Celtics.

Here’s a snapshot of the Kobe-era Xmas games:

2008: Lakers 92, Celtics 83. Lakers end Boston’s 19-game winning streak and, in a sense, the championship torch is passed in mid-season.

2007: Lakers 122, Suns 115. No D in this game. Kobe has 38 points, Andrew Bynum adds 28, and the new look Lakers stretch their wings.

2006: Heat 101, Lakers 85. The Lakers are flat and D-Wade pours in 40 points.

2005: Heat 97, Lakers 92. Kobe and Lamar Odom miss three-pointers late and the Heat holds on.

2004: Heat 104, Lakers 102. Kobe misses a three-pointer in overtime. Kobe gets 42 points, but Shaq gets the win.

2003: Rockets 99, Lakers 87. Kobe has a miserable shooting night: nine for 26.

2002: Sacramento 105, Lakers 99. It’s a modest revenge for Kings fans, given that the Lakers eliminated Sacto in seven grueling games in the playoffs that spring.

2001: Lakers 88, 76ers 82. Shaq is out with an injury, Kobe has injured ribs and scores only 12, while AI pours in 31, but somehow the Lakers overcome a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

2000: Portland 109, Lakers 104. Shaq and Kobe combine for 61 points, but a late offensive foul call on Kobe nullifies a potential three-point play.

1999: Lakers 99, Spurs 93. Shaq gets 32 as the Lakers edge the defending champs.

1996: Lakers 108, Suns 87. Shaq drops 26 while Kobe, then 18 years old, plays only five minutes and is scoreless. Let’s assume he was watching and learning.

--Barry Stavro

Photo: Lakers Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom battle Boston’s Kendrick Perkins for a rebound in the Lakers’ win on Christmas Day 2008. Photo credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

 
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Barry, nice article, but I would love to see you not X out the word "Christ" in "Christmas". It's something that I have never understood why some do this. Many may say "oh well, what's the big deal?" Personally whenever I write the word "Christmas" - I go to the other extreme, instead of Xing out Christ - I capitalize His name ... CHRISTmas.
Everyone who agrees - let's start sweeping the nation with this version, and maybe we can X out all of those who X out Jesus' name.

Have you heard about the Shannon Brown video on YouTube?

http://bit.ly/4DLSCH

If the Lakers impose restrictions on post-game locker room interviews, at least you'll know why.

PurpleHeart, I'm a little surprised that you're unaware of the origin of the X. It's not at all obliterating Jesus' name. I'm sure you're aware that the New Testament was written in Greek? The Greek form of Christ is CHRISTOS, which is written (roughly) XROS. The "X" is actually the first letter of the original form of Christ. And yes, that's the truth - I'm clergy, so I wouldn't lie ;)~

PurpleHeart,
That's from the Greek spelling of Christ.

Merry Christmas Eve.


Santa knows that I want a shooter for X-mas and he's in negotiations with my lawyer as we speak.


Can you imagine this team with a dead-eye shooter to play the Kerr/Paxton role?


It's probably just a dream though, because we're not going to pay 18 million for a bench player, as we would be doing if we trade for Calderon. We may be able to get a shooter in FA after the season when I'm sure there'll be a ton of them lining up at the Lakers' front door.


But I want my shooter now, and please don't tell me that guy's name is Sasha Vujacic. He's useless as refrigerated toast, which, BTW, the GF has started stockpiling for some reason. Hmmm. Refrigerated toast. We don't want it going bad, right? I do hate the spoiled toast smell. That stays in the curtains for weeks.


Oh, dear Santa, can't we just have one shooter?


The team is so close to greatness, that it would be a shame not to reach for that last ring.


Wes

KOBE is a loser BUT Pau is not...with PAU we are 2 and 0.

Rick Friedman:

Interesting clip of Shannon's rear end. Why n0t give players an enclosed phone booth type of locker room to preserve human dignity. Not asking for Taj Mahal just a simple phone booth.

This statistic is well known: Last Xmas and the Xmas before it was given as well, at least in Italy.

I may sound like a preacher for sacrilege but for me this incoming game against Cavs is not like we have to spill our blood in order to take it home. Whatever result come out from it, we still talk about a december game.

A december game where our bench has yet to show their balls off (no pun intended at the Shannon video, of course...), a december game where our key leader still has an injury, a december game where one of our most needed guns (Drew) seems quite unable to fullfill his promises.

Don't get me wrong: I think we are far superior to the Cavs, so we could be able to take this home, anyway.

Notice the verbal timing and mode.

I think the Cavs will get into the Staples with the will of doing their overbest, for a series of reasons that it can be useless to list, but which we have to remind people of:

- LeBronze's ego dies to prove he's better than Kobe. Nike can't wait to prove his salary to him, higher than Kobe's is for a decent reason and not just cos they are out of their minds. LeBron doesn't care to compare himself to an injuried player and believe, none of the commentators will ever point that out: it wouldn't be fair on the Caveman ego (*sigh*...);

- Shaq can't wait again to cause damage to the Lakers. I bet he has dreamed of this game since the schedule was given. Shaq knows what to do to cause fuss in the Lakers camp. He knows our players and the way we work. And he can be so nasty about that all. Nasty in a sporty way, I hope. I think. I know;

- The Cavs are a rollercoaster, but definitely a good team. They have a good impact once their rotation is going full energy and they have a type of game that can be hurtful to us (not the us that we should be... I mean the us that we are at this moment, which is not our best at all): they have the three shots, they do a decent and fairly more than decent attacking on the post and of the ball and they have players that needed to be guarded constantly. I am not speaking merely of LeBronze. In fact I expect lot of damage coming NOT BY HIM solely.

Artest is definitely an improvement for us; but this his first game as a Laker guarding LeBron. I expect a lot, but realistically he could have to adjust with that and after all... I want him ready for the playoffs there. Someway it would be even "useful" to learn some tricks against Cavs out of a tricky game tomorrow.

Overhall, the Cavs are more predictable than us in every part of the court. But I see them in a better state of shape than we are now and moreover, their bench can conveniently rest their titulars.

Ours so far can't.

My major concern for tomorrow could on the other side become our biggest resource, if proven wrong: I fear the energy of Drew thrown on the court in the worst possible way. Lots of will transformed into one foul after the other; that energy kept inside after the third foul to not foul out, progressively causing his disappearing from the game. That would cause us so much trouble I can't even name the output for it.

On the other side, if Drew could do what he CAN do, the Cavs simply don't have the skill to rule at once Pau, Drew, Ron Ron and Kobe at the same time.

This is gonna be a very important game on the road of evolution.

I surely would like to win: I think our odds are still superior than Cavs's even with Kobe not fully himself.

But even so, I still believe the best we have to expect from this game is a key to interpretate our current state of things, and understand what it takes to step up to the next level.
Even a couple of levels further than we are at now actually.
In the end, this still merely a December game.

And believe I would keep it there even if we would end with 20 points gap over the Cavs, trashing them down fully.

By the Way, Happy Xmas. Yes... with the X. I studied ancient Greek and I would like rabid and ravishing Jesus preachers to do the same before sounding nothing short than inappropriate. Especially in a moment of the year where we should all be tolerant, gentle, and well disposed.

I don't know about you but I'd rather not see the word "loser" and Kobe in the same sentence. :-(

Thank you PistonsFan for that information. I was not aware that XROS is CHRISTOS which is CHRIST. All I am saying is while writing X-MAS on their cards, or boxes or ornaments, or anything else for that matter - most of society is unaware of this information. I think it's safe to say that the majority write this out of convenience, a shortcut if you will - not b/c they are writing the Greek form of Christ. It's a simple way of keeping Christ in our present day society. I'll continue to write in English Zaira, and not presume people have knowledge of the Greek language.
Merry CHRISTmas Laker family.

SamLL,

"I don't know about you but I'd rather not see the word "loser" and Kobe in the same sentence"

Agreed.

Actually, I kind of hope Kobe reads this. It'll piss him off to no end.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Turns out Kobe's still a loser on Christmas.

As long as he and the Lakers aren't losers in June, they can lose as many Christmas games as they want.


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