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Kobe Bryant makes right decision in opting out of NBA All-Star game


He may have left the NBA, the fans, Jerry Jones and Nike disappointed. But Kobe Bryant's decision to opt out of what would be his 12th All-Star appearance on Sunday served as the right decision both for the Lakers, and more importantly, for his own well-being.

More details will emerge once Bryant discusses publicly how he reached his decision and what served as the tipping point when he knew it would be better off not to play, what with missing the past three games because of a sprained left ankle. But knowing Bryant's desire to always compete as well as his constant monitoring with trainer Gary Vitti, it's safe to say this was a difficult choice for Bryant to make.

There has been plenty of well-reasoned debate on whether Bryant should have rested earlier after going through a litany of injuries, including his fractured right index finger, back spasms and most recently his sprained left ankle. 

Regarding his index finger, I found it more concerning how Bryant would alter his role given that his fractured finger hurt his shooting and ball handling abilities than whether he should actually sit. Even if he wasn't at 100%, his on-court presence was invaluable. He had also made constant changes, going from wearing a splint, to taking it off and to putting it back on again to ensure the right balance of protecting his finger and maximizing his ability with a damaged part. 

Regarding his back spasms and sprained left ankle, Bryant held the criteria that he'd sit out only if he couldn't walk. That happened Jan. 12 against San Antonio where he missed the entire fourth quarter because of back spasms. Rather than accepting the likelihood that he'd be out, he had a personal trainer take a red-eye to give him massage treatment as early as 5 a.m. the next day. He laid on a pad throughout the first half the following day against Dallas and ending up shooting the game winner. 

Similar scares happened when Bryant initially sprained his left ankle Jan. 29 against Philadelphia, where he collided with Elton Brand. But he returned with no signs of it bothering him and then scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half. After Lamar Odom stepped on his ankle last week against Charlotte, Bryant returned in the second half and finished with only five points on two-of-12 shooting, though he did a better job setting up Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum inside. He then played against Denver, scoring 33 points on 11-of-22 shooting.  Ultimately, Bryant ended his streak of 235 consecutive games Saturday against Portland, saying later that the inflammation was hindering his movement. 

Bryant may have been stubborn with his finger because he knew he could still play through it. He was more cautionary, however, with his ankle and back because he knew he needs those body parts to function to ensure movement. And even though he tried fighting through it to the very end, fortunately Bryant recognized the value healing can do to an injured body. 

The Lakers and their fans will surely look forward to next week, possibly as early as Tuesday when the Lakers host against Golden State, to see a refreshed and recovered Bryant. That wouldn't have been fully possible had he decided to play Sunday in the All-Star game.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant, left, grimaces in pain after teammate Lamar Odom accidentally stepped on his ankle late in the first half of the Lakers' 99-97 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday night at Staples Center. Bryant returned to start the third quarter but lacked his usual quickness. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

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Glad to hear it, thanks for the news.


Kobe's made the right choice.

Now maybe Kobe and Andrew can nurse their wounds while constantly reviewing video of the last three games.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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



you wrote: It's both - how much gets assigned to each depends on whether people stop cutting and moving because Kobe is over-dribbling, or vice versa. Personally, I think that it's about 1/2-to-2/3 Kobe' fault, and 1/3-to-1/2 everybody else's. The actual amounts don't really matter - what matters is that Kobe is the key to making it work like it is supposed to work.

my response: actually, that's false logic. Kobe can't *make* them run the
offense. he can't run for them. he can't shoot for them. Everyone is
responsible for their own action. Imagine the outcry if Kobe had said the

"I could have jacked up 25 shots and tried to win the game, but instead I
decided to let my team lose because LO's not hustling, Bynum is slower
than molasses, D-Fish can't throw the ball into the ocean, Artest is hurt
& LO is busy eating M&M's instead of cutting to the basket. I take full
responsibility for only shooting 15 shots and letting my team lose though."

if he will harm his healing, he shouldn't play, otherwise these debates are pretty stupid and meaningless.

man, am i glad that most of the bloggers and sportswriters aren't running this team!

Best news I've heard all day

Kobe and Bynum for Lebron....anybody. Can you imagine Lebron plugging himself with Dynasty of the decade. I would not be surprised if that deal happens. If Lebron was going to leave Cleveland for sure, best place will be LA. C'mon guys...

Who cares about the all-star game. I only watch it now to see what craziness Shaq will be involved in (the dancing with the mask last year was classic), and maybe catch the 3-point and dunking contests. Other than that, the all-star break is also my personal break from basketball.

Kobe and Bynum for Lebron doesn't work on soooooo many levels that it's not even worth going into .

>>>Kobe and Bynum for Lebron....anybody.

It doesn't work financially.

Make it LeBron plus Shaq (and his expiring contract) and it just about works.

That's one of the few scenarios in which I'd actually consider trading Kobe away - for LeBron.

But Cleveland would never do it, because LeBron is several years younger and thus will be a superstar for longer.

Like he says, "If I can't walk, I won't play." His ankle must be pretty stiff and swollen to not even make an appearance. Hopefully he'll still be there for Shannon in the Dunk Competition.

Kobe didn't play in the last 3 games, but the rest of the Lakers did, and they won in double digits. How could that happen without Kobe? The answer is called "TEAMWORK" which Kobe knows nothing about.

Kobe had to back out of playing after watching his team play great team ball. It would have shown it's about Kobe and not the team. He had no choice but to back out. I really think he is embarrassed on how great the Lakers played and got the message from the team. At least I sure hope so, I mean how many times do we have to listen to Laker players say the same thing....were playing as a team, were moving the ball, were just running the triangle, everyone is happy, everyone is getting to touch the ball. I sure hope all of you still have the games on DVD of the post games. Listen to the players Kobe they are talking to you. I hope he gets it because this is the type of basketball I want to see all the way to the Championship.


"Kobe can't *make* them run the offense. he can't run for them. he can't shoot for them. Everyone is responsible for their own action. "

You're right, hobbit. The fact that Kobe, the best player on the team, doesn't run the offense himself, doesn't always pass when he should, that he doesn't stay in the proper position while on defense has absolutely no bearing on what anybody else does.

Kobe, you made a right decision or else there is another avalanche of everlasting debate. You save us from stress in reading useless posts. Starting from BSPN, all they talk is about playing Kobe incessantly Whoaaaa, where are you Chick? Why are there so many stupid broadcasters that succeeded u in this internet/ or hip hop generation? There is just too much information of nonsense! It is pure yellow journalism to pulverize the listening with a story again and again on one's travesty. Why is he playing? why is he not playing? Why are the Lakers winning without their two stars? Should they put Drew in the 2nd unit or a starter? Blah, Blah Blah. If you are PJ and asked with these stupid questions 500 times a day, it is really stressful to deal with stupidity.

This is not what our founding fathers have envisioned when they included the first amendment in the Constitution - that there would be a day when some profiteering sectors would abuse and peddle the freedom of speech wantonly.

Kobe for Lebron? NO! Why would you trade a proven champion vs someone who has never won anything? Leave the Lakers alone the way they are.

"The fact that Kobe, the best player on the team, doesn't run the offense himself, doesn't always pass when he should, that he doesn't stay in the proper position while on defense has absolutely no bearing on what anybody else does."

That is one of the most ignorant comments I have seen posted on this blog. I am guessing that you have never played or coached team sports, but if you did you clearly had no idea what was going on.

leave kobe away, dont post here haters

I am completely disgusted at the State of the Blog recently. We have been infested with a strain of Kobe-Hater-itis that is not only contagious but especially virulent. The blog needs to be innoculated against such an agressive disease ASAP.

Those infected need to say 10 Hail Kobe's and a few Our Phil's as soon as is humanly possible. They need to remember just exactly WHO it was more than any other player (hint: Finals MVP) that made it possible to hang that 15th Championship banner in the rafters of Staples Center just recently. They need rewatch ALL the Lakers games from this season - and even last season - to remind themselves of just exactly WHO the greatest player in the world is (hint: The Bean) and recognize that he's wearing Purple and Gold for crying out loud. They need to read a Roll Call by Mamba24 and a prayer by Utzworld the Banner Holder.

If none of that works, then I'd suggest - in all sincerity - euthanasia for them. They really need to be put out of their misery - and ours. Because if you can't enjoy this player - this Kobe Bean Bryant - this once-in-a-generation phenominal basketball player extraordinaire - this future Hall of Famer - this amazing LAKER - then you don't deserve to call yourself a fan (and a Laker fan at that) and you certainly don't deserve to post your opinions here. All you are doing is taking up space, wasting our time and wallowing in whatever pathetic existence you call a life all the while trying to inflict your disease-laden drivel on the rest of us.

It's one thing to express a concern or point out the potential for improvement, but it's quite another to bash the 1 player on this team that is ALL heart, drive and determination. The 1 player you KNOW you can count on to leave it on the floor every single night. The 1 player you KNOW who is all about winning rings. MORE rings. Championships that make us proud to be Laker fans. If you don't recognize that, then I fear there really is no hope for you. May as well cash in your 401K, or your insurance policies, then move to New Jersey and cheer for the Nets. Cuz they have a lot of problems and I'm sure even YOU won't have enough fingers to point them all out. You'll be happier there. Trust me.

*end rant

Actually exhelo was being sarcastic, but his comment was fairly insightful. Kobe cheats on defense a lot, but is rarely called out for it.

Kobe should sit till his finger is completely healed, March 19th is an option or better yet April 2nd.

The March 19th date will have given the team 17 games without Kobe and a better read on them.

April 2nd would be 24 games and a much better sample of games and closer to the 30 games aztronut says should be played before anyone makes any assumptions about the current Kobe-less team.

April 2nd should insure his finger is completely healed and it will also be a good gauge to see if the Lakers minus Kobe continue their great play over a significant period of time over playoff positioning opponents at home and on the road. Also factor in that other teams by this time would have been able to scout the current team and devise defenses accordingly.

Kobe you deserve the rest, the team has been playing admirably in your absence (so far), take advantage of this oppurtunity to completely heal yourself and come back rested for the playoffs.

I'm guessing it was sarcasm...OMG, there's some more!

Now that the Lakers have won 3 games, a lot of people are saying Kobe has been the problem. Actually, when Kobe played with Lamar and Pau as center last year, they were unstoppable. I think the problem is Bynum clogging the middle, giving little room for Pau to operate. And truthfully, Lamar is better as a starter than off the bench.

man, the Clippers HAVE to get Lebron this summer. I don't care how they make it happen, it's a waste watching him play with these schlubs on Cleveland. The Laker/Clipper games would be unbelievable... ratings would be through the roof. David Stern, make it happen...


What's more, they moved the ball all the way through their triangle offense more frequently without Bryant because they had to find other scoring options. Too frequently, they drop the ball into Bryant's hands and stand back and watch him work.

As in victories over the Trail Blazers and the Spurs, the Lakers explored their many options until they found the right one. It meant plenty of chances for Gasol and Odom, and they capitalized eagerly in the Lakers' free-flowing offense.

my response: There it is again: They drop the ball into Bryant's hands and
stand back and watch him work.


"We have been infested with a strain of Kobe-Hater-itis that is not only contagious but especially virulent"

I'm equally annoyed by the people who worship Kobe over this team and the chicken littles who say this sucks when they hit the slightest speed bump.

I just don't get it. Where do these "people" come from?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



I love the fierce loyalty.


I am smiling ear to ear! Kobe should have taken lots of breaks prior to this one. It will exciting to see Mr. Bryant healthy again. If there was a shred of doubt concerning health I am %110 behind this choice.

Kobe gave of his health for the US to win gold. He has given of his health for the All-Star competition before. Now he needs to preserve his health for the Lakers.




What's your specialization of philosophy?

What do you think about semiotics?

I loves me some semiotics.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Whew. I feel safe writing under MM's posts again. The spectre of Ted Green still haunts me.

Please tell me Ted's not real. Not real...not real...not real...


I'm watching the Cavs game right now and the announcers and "game tech" (loud speakers, etc.) is almost as bad as Pistons games.

Just lame.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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




I thought he was.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Charles Barkley is really fat. You'd think he'd take better care of himself.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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



"There it is again: They drop the ball into Bryant's hands and
stand back and watch him work."


People are blaming Kobe for this problem, but he is only contributing to it. The root of the problem is the rest of the Lakers stand around when Kobe gets the ball.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


96-96 Cleveland and the Magic...


PSYCORP… No disrespect but I have to completely disagree with you regarding the job that Phil Jackson has done managing the issue of shot selection. I actually think this year may end up being Phil’s greatest coaching job. Of course, there will still be those who refuse to give Phil his due or recognize the greatness of his coaching accomplishments.
The three main attributes that make Phil a great coach in my opinion are (1) He knows what it takes to build a championship team, (2) he thinks, plans, and executes with a season-long perspective, and (3) he manages each player based on their needs, always praising the ones who need a pat on the back and pushing those who need more of a stick. What binds it all together is the persistence, consistency, and confidence of the man and his message.
I actually think that Phil has master-minded this entire situation with one specific goal in mind – to get Kobe to focus more on team play and less on individual scoring. But it’s also much like preaching to the choir because I for one believe that Kobe has learned that lesson and will completely integrate himself into the offense and defense when he returns. Well, maybe not completely. LOL. When you have a big gun, you still have to fire it.
Finally, I have to disagree with your point about how the guys play on offense doesn’t affect how they play on defense. There are two factors at play here. The first is that when you run the triangle correctly, one of the big benefits is that you are always in good floor balance and get back in transition defense. Offense and defense in basketball are a part of a continuum. The second is that every player wants to score and most of them on this team will play better defensively if things are going well for them offensively. It’s really naïve to think that more than just a handful of players have that trait as much as we would like them to.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
JON… “Now maybe Kobe and Andrew can nurse their wounds while constantly reviewing video of the last three games.” I think Phil is smiling like a Cheshire Cat. Without ever uttering a word to offend Kobe, Phil has made it neigh impossible for Kobe NOT to be very team oriented when he returns. Phil has probably never been happier over any 3 game regular season streak as he was with the last three. They gave him the perfect launching point to ensure that everybody on the team got the message, including Kobe and Drew. At least, that’s my take on the whole situation. How can Kobe do anything else now?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
HOBBITMAGE… Grey, man. Keep saying it over and over. Then go out and get some black and white paint and mix it. Then you might see that the world is not black and white but millions of shades of grey. Teamwork requires a team. Why can’t you accept the simple reality that there are times when Kobe takes too many shots or gambles too much on defense or puts the offense on hold? He is after all just a human and I’m not saying that we still can’t win most of the time when he does that. He is, after all, going to be the GOAT. Kobe will make the adjustment. I think the model he will follow will more and more be Team USA.
One thing I would like to throw out there to see what you think is that I’m glad in a way that we had the tough years after Shaq left. And not just because it made Kobe better and helped other players develop. No, I’m glad because we were so bad that Kobe HAD to score 81 against Toronto and 61 against the Mavs. And the strings of 50 point games. No, there not as good as winning championships but they did give us a chance to see some of the greatest basketball ever played by one of the most electric performers ever to lace up his sneakers. Like the saying goes, sometimes the best moments are in the journey. It weren’t all bad
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yeah, I'm pulling for the Magic too, Wes. I'm hopping they can prove Jon K right and show that the Cavs are vulnerable.

I'm still thinking Adam Morrison for Kwame Brown.

I hear that the Pistons are financially desperate and are open to strange trades.

Washington and Detroit are most succeptible... and both are in the East... thus making them more succeptible.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Justa -

Thank you. Really, thank you for that.

I hate Lawler's Law... but it does seem to work.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


cali - you're welcome!

WES - omg - I have to tell you... You posted a few days ago something about "The Crawling Eye" and I almost fell off my chair!! I remember watching that (as a rerun) when I was a kid - SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME at the time.... I still have that moment once in awhile between sleep and wake where my brain goes back to that.... lol! I have never come across anyone who knew what I was talking about before - so thank you my brothafromanothamotha....!

Whoever is in charge of the multimedia at The Q should go ice fishing with me.

"Two men enter. One man leave."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Jon K. -

All that I really know about Semiotics is from a book I picked up as an undergrad called "Introducing Semiotics". It's like a little philosophy graphic novel. The only other thing that I know about Semiotics is that I need to learn about it before I can really say anything definitive.

My future area(s) of specialization will most likely be:
Philosophy of Science (general)
Philosophy of Biology
Philosophy of Economics
Philosophy of Race

My future area(s) of competence will most likely be:
Philosophy of Language
Philosophical/Mathematical Logic (i.e. modal; deontic, set theory, non-classical systems)

I'd like to fit meta-ontology in there somewhere, but I might need to get tenure first. ;-)

It's good to see your posts again. Next time you and I are in L.A. I will be more than happy to buy you (or better yet make you) a drink. Same goes for Justa, Utzworld, Faith, Zaira, Charles, Purple and Gold Reign, Phred and all the blog regulars.

It WAS 96-96.....did you see what happened next?

Jon K - I am unfamiliar with this law of which you speak....


I thought he was."

I could post that, 'Actually, Kobe's plan is to dribble the ball for 14 seconds and then take a 3 point shot.' but too many people here would have a stroke.


I share your passionate defend of Kobe. These pundits think after 3 wins in a row after Kobe sat down to nurse his injuries, this team has a better chance of winning the championship! I said to all of you a few weeks ago, without Kobe, this team will not win a Western Conference Finals let alone the NBA Finals.

I agree with one of the post that Pau and LO are more effective without Bynum who usually clocked the lane but rarely move his feet which is essential on both ends of the court. He's still young but need to get stronger and quicker to be effective in the post.

In Kobe I Trust!

cali - just make sure there's a Laker game and some vodka involved, and you can count me in lol!

ex - you're probably right. If you post something like that make sure to put a disclaimer in there .... WARNING!! WARNING!! Danger Will Robinson!! LOL!

Thanks Wallace. I'm just getting fed up with the utter and complete nonsense. Man - Tha Show go on a mini streak without Kobe and all of a sudden he should be traded?? Or we can win it all without him?? WTH?? Seriously - these "people" (and I use that term loosely) really need to learn more about basketball before they jump in with their 2 cents....


>>> I am completely disgusted at the State of the Blog recently.

Me, too. I've never seen such an infestation of no-nothing morons. Euthanasia is too kind. Hang them on a gallows constructed in front of Staples Center so we can stone them.

Wallace - I agree with you about the team but I don't think anyone other than trolls is really saying what you claim they are saying. The Lakers are playing better team ball without Kobe. They would be at their best if Kobe was playing the same kind of team ball, not if Kobe was gone. Without Kobe, this team would probably end their run in the Western Conference finals, but I would give them a chance at making the championship. With Kobe playing the way he's played much of this year, they probably make the finals but they don't win. With Kobe playing the right way, the Lakers win the championship by a mile.

Very few people seriously think that "dump Kobe" is the best option. "Kobe play right" is the true best option. Hopefully what this three game stretch has shown is the same thing that we've been saying for years. This Lakers team would be a LOT better if Kobe respects his teammates and plays within the offense, so it looks like, you know, a team.

I don't think it's as much Phil Jackson's coaching but a sequence of events that has led to where the Lakers are today.

If Kobe hadn't sat out these past few games, does anyone think that the other players would have suddenly risen to the occasion or would they have loafed around once again and then blame Kobe indirectly for not playing team ball?

If Bynum hadn't been touched again and fell on his hip would the clogged up middle permitted the team to spread the offense?

Phil in my opinion should have benched Kobe many times throughout his career when he playing to much one-on-one, especially those times he was going 11-27 for example.

Doing this would be applauded by the fans and players as well. It probably would have also developed some earlier accountability of the players to go along with quickening their development.

In a way Phil created the Monster that is Kobe

good / bad kobe cont:

Again, playoff basketball Kobe is historically different from reg season Kobe. He'll come back doin' all the things mentioned in the article... as he's done and rarely gets credit for.

AND btw, Lebron, DWade, Coach K et al, deferred to Kobe in the game that would be unthinkable to lose. Given similar circumstances, ya think Pau and Lamar are thinkin' gimme the ball and get the hell outa the way?

When you can do it all, the hard part is deciding when to do what. Kobe will fit right in when he gets back.

And btw 2: Green's assertion that feeding Andrew and Pau is the path to enlightenment is 1/2 true. Andrew makes plays but Pau conducts like Solti.


Lawler's Law was created by Ralph Lawler, play-by-play man for the Los Angeles Clippers. Simply stated "First time to 100 WINS!"

As simplistic as this law is, it has been proven to be 96% accurate (on average, as if fluctuates per year.)

First team to score 100 points wins.

I hate it, but is it true 96% of the time.

Go Clippers!!!



" 'Actually, Kobe's plan is to dribble the ball for 14 seconds and then take a 3 point shot.' but too many people here would have a stroke."

I laughed. Really.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


LOL Rick - have to disagree with you there. Hanging in front of Staples is also too good for them. No gazing on the wondrous glory of Staples Center for them! Now if we hang them out back, near the trash dumpsters, then it's still symbolic AND we can still stone them....!

LA Guy - I forget.... are you a troll?


Semiotics is rad! The philosophy and theory of symbolism! It's deeper than mathematics, yo! Because mathematics is just a game of symbols. How did we come to those symbols? I love semiotics. It's the basis of cognition and life, methinks.

Have you ever read the book "What Is Mathematics, Really?" by Reuben Hersh? Great stuff.

Tell me more about the Philosophy of Biology. I'd like to know more about that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Now that the Lakers have won 3 games, a lot of people are saying Kobe has been the problem. Actually, when Kobe played with Lamar and Pau as center last year, they were unstoppable. I think the problem is Bynum clogging the middle, giving little room for Pau to operate. And truthfully, Lamar is better as a starter than off the bench.

Posted by: mando | February 11, 2010 at 06:58 PM

I agree!

Rick Friedman,

"Me, too. I've never seen such an infestation of no-nothing morons"

Remember when the horde of Trolls attacked the blog?

This generation of Trolls are the equivalent of Cylons.

The last generation of Trolls let you know that they were Trolls. They expressed overt hatred of the Lakers and taunted us.

This generation of Trolls POSE as Lakers fans when they actually hate the Lakers and all life.

It is a devious, insidious infestation cured best with fire.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


I think we should take heart in Laker Tom's example.

Lunatic that he is (and I love him for it) Kobe Bryant wants more than anything to win.

He's watched the last three games (as has Andrew Bynum). He's (they're) not (an) idiot(s).

They want to win. They're going to adapt their game.

After this All-Star break, we're going to see a Lakers team that everyone was anticipating at the dawn of the season.

Seriously, it's smash and burn once the All-Star break is over.

We've got a beautiful season to look forward to.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Jon K - you really think they're Cylons? I'm thinking more along the lines of little more than puppets at the control of Darth Stern's cat....

And thanks for the Lawlor's Law explanation. Funny - I always say that too - guess I never knew where it came from. Kudo's Mr. Lawlor.

Couple quick things. Do you all remember the Gold Medal game? Watch the last quarter (or last 8-10 minutes of the game). No Kobe, no Gold!

Watched LeHogball tonight in his last 8-10 minutes, just handled the ball constantly, when he wasn't shooting, he was passing and HIS TEAMMATES MADE THEIR SHOTS! Isn't that an interesting concept, make your shot when passed to and wide open, WOW!

To be fair, LBJ is really good, just to be fair.

A troll is someone who posts things just to upset people, or someone who posts things that they don't actually believe in order to create controversy. I have never done either at any point on this blog.


It's the best crawling eye movie. I love it. I like when the guy at the very start gets his head torn off, then sceams as he falls off the cliff. How'd he do that?

And the eyes don't really crawl, they kind of float, I think. It would be the perfect film for a remake because it's so cool, with the psychic sisters, the bloodless hypnotzed zombies who go after the psychic girl, all the funny people who insist on going on these 90 mile hikes in their overalls....I love it all.


Justa, I agree about the recent trend here on the blog. I don't think it's limited to Kobe however. I've noticed an increase in nastiness in general, whether aimed at players, coaches or those who post here. On the one hand, there's still plenty of great stuff to read and I have the utmost admiration for way too many bloggers to single out by name. On the other hand, the water seems to keep getting deeper and murkier.

Justa -

I've got a great new cocktail I discovered that works well with Hangar One Spiced Pear Vodka and St. Germain....quite delicious.

Rick Friedman -

you get a drink from me too (if you so choose).

LA Guy,

"A troll is someone who posts things just to upset people, or someone who posts things that they don't actually believe in order to create controversy."


How should we describe people who are just complete morons?

"Morons," mayhaps?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



"I'm thinking more along the lines of little more than puppets at the control of Darth Stern's cat...."

The problem is that right now, at this moment, Darth Stern's cat is disseminating mind-controlling parasites through the television of every sports watcher in the country.

Scary stuff... but true.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Hey Justa, if you liked the Crawling Eye, there are a few more I've discovered in the last year with my netflix account. I highly recommend:

1) The Abominable Snowman 1957 with Peter cushing and Forrest Tuker (same guy in Crawling eye). Great film, with a super cool ending.

2) Curse of the Demon 1958 very spooky. Good from start to finish with cool weird scenes.

3) Devil Doll. 195- Very scarry. Gotta see it.


I'll have to admit that without KB24 in the All-Star game, well, it just won't be that interesting to me.

wes - I just can't quite believe someone else knew about that movie....! You remember much more about it than I do though.... I was young at the time. To this day I still can't quite figure out WTH my parents were thinking letting me watch that!

cali - mmmmmmm - sounds really good - I love me some pears!

dave m - tru dat.... lots of nastiness. We got nastiness to spare. Step on up people - nastiness on special today. Get your nastiness here.... I don't like doing it but it has to be done on occasions like this when the Troll-B-Gone just isn't working. It seems to be all they understand - nastiness....

Does anybody know whether Kobe is going to go to Dallas to meet with the media and to set up Shannon in the dunk contest? Or is he gonna just rest and get treatment in town?

As great as LBJ is, would like for him to handle things better. He should have congratulated the Magic last year (as much as it would have pained him, I understand that) and this dancing thing at the end of a game (Bulls) that basically humiliated the Bulls (probably not his intention, but you just have to know when and where). I have no problem before the game starts. Kinda like last year with all the fake photo ops before the game, yeah, that's fun, but where was that same photo op at the end of the Magic East Conference final game. Oh, it didn't quite develop. It's great for them to be joking and having fun, just looks a little arrogant. Be careful Cavs, don't start counting those chickens just yet!

LOL Jon K - soooo very scary....! I'm assuming the only antidote is to be a Laker fan from way back... ? Before Princess Jimmy came into being and infected the minds of Darth Stern and his mongrel hordes with her rancid, fingernail chewing saliva and her displays of crab dribbling?

wes - wow - I'm not sure if I'll be able to watch any of those! I am completely anti-horror stuff now. Totally. It freaks me out waaaaaayyyy too much. I think I mentioned how even to this day The Crawling Eye is etched in my brain.... Thanks for thinking of me though..... lol !!

DJ - you know, I have to agree with that. If Kobe's not there, but ASG itself just isn't going to be the same. I'm going to be cheering for Pau, but Princess Jimmy will be on display and I'm not sure if there's enough Pepto in all of Orange County to help keep my queasiness at bay.....

MM - do you know when we'll be going live over the course of the week-end? Just curious.... I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out, but just to be on the safe side make sure you start early and finish late, ok? LOL!

Hey, one more quick thing, do you (whoever) think Shaq will find a home next season? I'm sure not at 20 MIl, but will anyone want/need him?


>>> you get a drink from me too

You're on!

"then sceams as he falls off the cliff. How'd he do that? "

He wasn't screaming - it was the wind whistling through the hole where his neck used to be.


You're not paying attention to what I wrote. Take off your filter and re-read
what I wrote. To clarify:

I have said the following:

Pau was out of condition.
LO was watching.
D-Fish couldn't throw the ball into the ocean.
Artest has/had plantar fasciatius
Kobe has over-dribbled the ball.

All of the rampant Kobe-hate has focused on the last. "Kobe is a ball hog."
"Kobe doesn't run the offense." "Kobe is jacking up 30 shots per game. "

No one has called Pau on being out of shape.
No one has called LO on not hustling and just watching the game.
Some have suggested trading D-Fish, but do not see him as a reason
for Kobe shooting a lot.
Anyone who bad mouths Bynum is called a basher.

All of the Kobe haters focus on the number of shots Kobe has taken and
they forget the rest.

How about these stats:


How about these stats:


How about these stats:


Those are the stats of Kobe's team mates from the Chicago game, the
Sacramento game & the memphis game.

Call a spade a spade. You can cherry pick your 3 games where LO has
shot the ball well while we play "team" ball & I can cherry pick 3 games
where we couldn't play "team" ball because our players couldn't shoot
a dead fish in a barrel.

This is your team ball:


How about these numbers:

9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
This is your ball hog on Christmas day.
Your ball hog out-rebounded your C, your PF,
your pg, almost the entire bench, & played 45 of
48 mins.

Artest has been hurt so he gets a pass. Certain players haven't been
hustling and instead of commenting about the lack of effort of our
players the burden is put on Kobe. Kobe is a ball hog for trying to win
the game vs. letting us lose because D-Fish can't guard my dead

As I said, If Kobe had only taken 15 shots on Christmas and let us get
blown out by 40 pts and said the following:

"Well, I could have tried to win the game. However, that's not cool. So
instead of trying to win I decided to let us lose. D-Fish hasn't been
shooting well. Artest is injured. Pau's out of shape. Bynum won't
play defense. LO is watching me. We just have to lose these games."

How would *ANY* Lakers fan have taken that?


"My future area(s) of competence will most likely be:
Philosophical/Mathematical Logic (i.e. modal; deontic, set theory, non-classical systems)"

Logic is a particular interest of mine, kind of a hobby I guess you might say. I took every undergraduate course that my school offered, way back in the day. Those were the only Philosophy classes I ever took. In the Math dept. it's typically called Modern Algebra, or Boolean Algebra.

You can learn a lot about logical fallicies by studying the way folks interact on these blogs, but usually when you call them out on it they have no idea what you're talking about and when if you try to explain it you get attacked from a gazillion directions at once. I guess that would be the bandwagon fallacy, with a liberal dose of ad hominem.

Good luck with your continuing studies, or postdoc work, or whatever. Sounds like you're aiming for a professorship and I'd like to wish you the best of luck with that. I very much admire those that go into the teaching profession. I tried it myself once and found out I just wasn't cut out to deal with that much interpersonal interaction on a daily basis. I'm just not a "people person" I guess.


"I don't like doing it but it has to be done on occasions like this when the Troll-B-Gone just isn't working"


Thanks for the reference!


I have been writing and reading about the philosophy of sports. Athletics and citizenship meet in Kobe - not the international Kobe - the American one. Seriously, it is an area you might add to the list.


Congratulations to Derek Fisher on playing in his 1000th game. He stunk in 996 of them....what a huge achievement !!

Posted by: DFish | February 11, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Honestly, how short is your memory? Since you're making an empirical claim, either

a) Name the 996 games in which he stunk, or
b) the only 4 games in which he didn't stink.

Make sure you define what you mean by "stunk", so I am clear as to what you're trying to say.

Posted by: Caliphilosopher |

Hey Cali,

Fisher should of handed over every pay check to Shaq and Kobe. And now Gasol and Kobe. He has a 40% career FG average. Most of those shots are wide open shots. If he didn't play with Shaq and Kobe nobody on earth would even know who this overrated clown was. He is not a good passer, shooter, can't drive to the basket and finish, is one of the most unatheletic guards to ever play the game, etc etc. He has one skill as an NBA player that is above average. Free throw shooting. That's it !!! And for such a great guy that everyone thinks he is, that elbow he through at the Houston player last year in the playoffs was one of the dirtiest cheapest shots you will ever see. Should of thrown him out of the playoffs but the Lakers would have had a better shot at winning if they did. He was lucky to have Gasol and Shaq on his team who have FG %'s in the high 50's. And tell you goofy buddy Jonny Boy K...I might be a troll but I'm know more about basketball than that total biased moron !!!

By the way...does anyone know if Jonny boy K will be in his lucky bar stool for the All Star game? And what about that girl he has a crush on...will she be there with her boyfriend ? I will check the TV listings and see if there is a good horror movie Jonny K can watch on AMC after the game. Urgh! Urgh !
Awesome. Really hope Kobe is well enough to pass to Shannon. That would be awesome !!


"No one has called Pau on being out of shape.
No one has called LO on not hustling and just watching the game."

I have done both of those things, a number of different times. No one includes an awful lot of people, it's very difficult to prove such an inclusive negative. I used to have a math teacher who was fond of saying that anytime you say always, or never, you're bound to be wrong.

Lakers + Teamwork = Win games

Teamwork = Kobe + Gasol + Odom + Artest + Rest of Lakers team ( all equal)

Kobe (alone) can not win games and can not be champion.

Teamwork = Championship.

I hope this analogy explains the importance of teamwork to all Kobe diehards.


There are more Laker lovers than Kobe loyalists. Welcome to the blog y' all.

Everybody that says we can't win a championship without Kobe is speculating, there is only one way to find out.

His salary goes away, you can replace him with another Superstar...

Besides, there is only one way to unite this blog. Trade Kobe Bryant, get a Superstar who is a team player, Lakers win a championship, This Blog will rejoice and will be united!!! After all, the goal is for the LAKERS to be no.1. DO NOT EVER LOOSE FOCUS ON YOUR GOALS.

I repeat, LOS ANGELES LAKERS is our team.

For anyone who knows anything about probability theory (hint: Cali) drawing conclusions on the basis of isolated wins - even three in a row - is an inherently perilous venture. Especially when it's about evaluating the worth of a player who has been in the league for over 13 years. Kobe is great because 1) he has consistently done great things 2) he is spectacular to watch.

The problem with this limited statistical reasoning can be seen in the following pseudo-logical set drawn from the past couple of weeks:

. The Nuggets blew out the Lakers at Staples without Carmelo Anthony
. The Lakers blew out the Spurs at Staples without Kobe Bryant
. The Spurs blew out the Nuggets with Carmelo Anthony on Denver's home court.

Logical conclusion: Kobe is a handicap for the Lakers and Carmelo is a handicap for the Nuggets.

But think about this. With or without Kobe, how many of those who see him as overrated would quite naturally be happier - i.e. feeling your chances to win increased - to play against a Denver team with Carmelo out of the lineup? If you're consistent in your reasoning about Kobe, you should unequivocally prefer Carmelo in. And yet I think I can safely say that you're lying to yourself and to the blog if you say you would.

And why is that? Because Carmelo doesn't need to prove his value in spite of the fact 1) that he's never been anywhere near a championship and 2) had to wait for Kobe to arrive for his first gold medal after several tries at the Olympics and world championship .

Kobe's injuries singularly complicated the Lakers' game plans and the team's reflexes. And that meant a number of uneven performances. But all that's part of a season, as everyone should know.

I am amazed at how many idiots occupy this blog. Yeah, blame Kobe, the guy who has been instrumental in four NBA championships for other players shortcomings. Brilliant. No, he is not perfect. Yes, there are times when he overshoots. He is still in the top two in the game at the very least. All of you ungrateful morons need to root for a different team. If you truly are adept at analyzing the last three Laker wins, you realize that we won because Bynum was not in there. Offensively the triangle flows far better. Pau will pass out of the post consistently to give others easy shots ( Bynum rarely passes ). Odom has more room to slash and rebound . Defensively, we benefit even more. Bynum is slow, a horrible pick and roll defender, fouls often and rarely blocks shots for someone his size. Lamar is superior in all of these areas, although he is foul prone as well. We won the title last year while getting nothing from Bynum. Shannon Brown has had a few nice moments but he pales in comparison to Kobe. It is simple, get Kobe back on the court and keep Drew on the bench as a backup playing far fewer minutes against second stingers and we win another title. It is not rocket science.

Laker Tom, are you by chance related to Drew , his agent, or on his payroll? Those are the only three legitimate excuses for you defending his shortcomings which are not only obvious but pronounced as well. Nothing personal, but come on already, wake up.

I should have added - about why Kobe's great - this one 3) because he's been a part of 4 TEAMS that have won championships (notice the capitalization of TEAMS).

A further remind is the anecdote at the first team meeting to start training camp of the 2007-2008 season, where the hapless Lakers were wondering if Kobe wasn't going to be traded and absolutely nobody believed in the Lakers' future. Kobe stood up and said, "I'm Kobe Bryant and I'm here to win a championship". 9 months later they were in the finals, which they actually could have won, but for a psychological shock caused by seeing Pierce in a wheelchair in game 1 and an inexplicable meltdown in game 4. (Concerning Pierce in a wheelchair, something similar happened the following year when Yao was declared out for the remainder of the playoffs and the Lakers suddenly forgot how to beat a diminished team they were already dominating).

Troll man,
Haven't you noticed that Phil's basic strategy is... ?

a) get the ball to Kobe, who is the only Laker - with the possible exception of Pau - that can be trusted to making effective split second decisions with a variety of options,
b) trusting Kobe's immediate instincts in the next two or three seconds as he observes the floor;
c) unless a golden opportunity to score or hit a cutting teammate is evident, waiting for the double team,
d) passing out of the double or, exceptionally, splitting two defenders (a situation only Kobe can read and execute... and which sometimes leads to turnovers, but the risk is worth it),
e) if time is running out, taking the shot himself because none of the others can be trusted to have steady enough nerves to ensure a decent percentage of success (though considerably lower than normal for a buzzer-beater, no matter who the shooter is).

This is clearly Phil's strategy and not Kobe's selfishness or desire to play one-on-one. This is the essential Laker game plan.

I notice that Cleveland doesn't use Lebron in this way at all. And that's because of 1) Lebron's size and speed 2) Cleveland relies on a variety of strong jump shooters, which Phil doesn't like to do unless he has a Steve Kerr or Paxson on his team! (Remember the Machine... when there was still oil circulating among its parts?).

C'mon fellow bloggers..its not that we're hatin on Kobe. We blog about current circumstances not overall. That's why blog on daily basis. Of course, once Kobe comes back and the Lakers win, we wouldnt talk about him the same way. Most of us are die hard Lakers fans not just Kobe fans. We judge what's best for the Lakers now and in the future. Sure Kobe is a proven champion - 4 rings to back it up. I know for sure he cant win a ring without Phil. But if you plug in Lebron in the triangle offense, Phil win another 10 doubt. Kobe had to fail before he succeed. Same for MJ. It will be the same for LBJ. I'm telling you man. If he gets to play with Pau, LO and Ron, OMG.....72-10 easily done. For now....let's win the another ring Kobe and the rest of Lakerrettes...I sure hope Pau or LO win the NBA finals MVP.

Speaking of the Dunk contest, Lebron should be in it. So he can have a rematch against Shannon Brown. The last two met was at the McDonalds Slam Dunk Contest. We should protest LBJ......Go BROWN>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Rockets won 22 in a row without Yao. Are they a better team without Yao? 3 wins where the opposing teams missed many shots, had off nights, etc. can not be used to determine anything. Even if the Lakers win 10 in a row, that doesn't mean anything. If they can win it all without Kobe, then that may say something. The Bulls, without Jordan, if not for a terrible call, may have won it all.

But to win consistently over the course of a season and over many seasons will show who the truly great players are. Even Bynum goes through stretches where he scores over 20 a game. But only truly great players can play day after day and put up the type of numbers that Kobe puts up.

Also, even when he's hurt, aside from the freelancing he does on defense, there is not another player with a higher basketball IQ than Kobe. Even when he is hurt and not shooting, he runs the offense(although not always the Triangle) best out of anyone on the team.

In the Olympics championship game against Spain, when the US ABSOLUTELY needed a basket, only Kobe, NOT Lecrab or DWade, was the only one that was able to get that basket. He just has this incredible ability to will himself to make that shot when it is ABSOLUTELY needed. There are just a few players in the history of sports that have that ability.

i will surely miss him. i wanted him to dominate the all-star game. but still, this is for the greater good. so i say to the rest of the league, prepare for a recharged kobe bryant!

Geez Louizze. I don't remember any Laker fans having written on this blog that the team would be better without Kobe.
If someone wrote that probably a troll.

Let me paraphrase about 1001 posts written by Laker fans in the Laker blog - (1) The Lakers have a better chance of winning the championship with Kobe than without; (2) The Lakers would have an even higher probability of winning the trophy if Kobe (and Drew) are successfully integrated into the team ball shown by the Lakers in the last 3 games.

That does not equate to people saying that the Lakers are better without Kobe.

Why is that so difficult to understand?

Sometimes I feel like talking to children who are crying, "you just don't love me anymore. waaaaa".

All of these posts saying that people have been writing that the Lakers would be better without Kobe are delusional. They are delusional about what people have actually been writing about.

Give it a rest already.

I do agree that superstars can play at the highest level game in game out. Thats what seperate them from the rest - Kobe , Lebron, Garnett and Duncan. Some will look so promising for one season and then it gets to their head. They get a huge contract but they cant keep it up. to name a few.. Arenas, Davis, Marbury, and so on.

In order for Lebron for to earn the torch, he has to beat the best. Just like MJ beat Bird, Isaiah, Magic......then dominate..Lebron as long as he has the right pieces around him. I can see him being a Laker. Buss will do it. He took Shaq from Orlando. He'll do it again with

Kobe is not playing the All Star Game? So, if the West wins don't forget to mention that they play much better without Kobe on the team!! LOL

Are people even looking at the big picture? You don't want Pau and Lamar playing 40 minutes a game and picking up nagging injuries along the way. Kobe and Bynum should play when they're ready.. not rest just for rest sake. Kobe and Bynum did their parts in keeping the team afloat with Pau out early in the season and it wore them down.

Now it's time for everyone to settle into their roles, build chemistry, stay healthy.

It seems to me that there are three things the Lakers can do that would immediately make them noticeably better:

1) Odom could play with this focus and intensity every game
2) Bynum could keep his head in the game no matter how many touches he gets on offese
3) Kobe could play within the system more

No one is "picking " on Kobe - those other two items have been discussed at length on many occasions. And it is precisely because of Kobe's greatness and understanding of the game of basetball, and his ability to make changes within his own game. He is clearly capable of doing that, and it clearly results in better basketball - the recent play of the Kobe-less Lakers have brought this back in focus, and this criticism is perfectly justified.

INCLUDING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF WHAT IS CLEARLY BEST FOR "KOBE'S LEGACY"!! And that is why some of these comments are really perplexing. Oh, well. I guess that's why fanaticism doesn't imply logic.

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