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Kobe Bryant says he can't measure up to Peyton Manning's work ethic

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Forget the 5 a.m. film study, the playing through 235 consecutive games, the working over the off-season with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon and the martial-arts training.

Kobe Bryant says, compared with Peyton Manning, he doesn't do "nearly enough."

When the Lakers guard was in Indiana last week as part of the team's eight-game, 13-day trip, he contacted the Indianapolis Colts quarterback and revealed his insecurities.

"I said, 'Why is it that every time I watch you play, I turn the game off feeling like I don't do nearly enough to prepare for my game?' " Bryant told ESPN.

With the Lakers having a day off for Super Bowl Sunday, Bryant will likely feel really bad he's not working. Plus, he'll have time to think about that left-ankle sprain that sidelined him Saturday, the first time he hadn't been able to play in spite of his assorted injuries -- his fractured right index finger, back spasms and his strained elbow.

Nonetheless, Manning's work ethic (he practices two-minute drills while running on the treadmill) shouldn't make Bryant feel inferior. He should just enjoy Super Bowl XLIV today between the Colts and the New Orleans Saints, a contest Bryant believes will come down to Manning's play.

"I know he's going to be ready," Bryant told ESPN. "I think the Colts will win."

Lakers forward Lamar Odom shared similar feelings, saying, "I love Peyton Manning. I love watching him play." But he remains conflicted on which team will get his rooting interest. 

"There’s personal reasons why I probably want the Saints to win," said Odom, whose sister-in-law Kim Kardashian is the girlfriend of Saints running back Reggie Bush. "Family and I want everyone to prosper and do well. ... The Saints are pretty good. It’ll be good for their city as well."

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore at a final practice Saturday before Super Bowl XLIV. Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press

 
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Can't wait to see Peyton do his thing in the Super Bowl. Just hoping it doesn't come down to choking field goal kickers.

micahsthought.blogspot.com

Anyone getting Kobe's admire especially regarding work ethic is automathically admired by me. I consider Kobe the hardest workin athlet and to' see him humbling there in front of somebody else's determination makes me willing to' discover it all about Manning, even though I don't get football.
But Kobe can change my interest. And he will.
Btw, Lamar is the sweetest guy ever. He's as tender at heart as a strawberry flavoured marshmellow. Adorable.

The best Super Bowl pre-game show: Watching the "defense is our calling card" Celtics blow an 11-pt halftime lead for yet another home floor loss.

Now 0-7 at home against 31+ win teams, and the Cavs haven't even come a-callin' yet.

But hey, it took them 2 quarters to go from an 11 pt lead to a loss instead of 9 min against the Lakers last Sunday, so maybe they're improving!

As much as Lakerland gripes about their team's substandard play, there's always someone doing worse than you are. When it's the Cs, so much the better.

Oh yeah, Geaux Saints though I have to admit I also predict the Colts to win. Payton and the Colts remind me of Kobe and the Lakers in one sense--no matter how much a "magical season" their opponents are having, when they're fully on their game, they're going to win.

Btw, Lamar is the sweetest guy ever. He's as tender at heart as a strawberry flavoured marshmellow. Adorable.

Posted by: ZairaAmaterasu | February 07, 2010 at 02:00 PM

I wonder if you know what it is you just said?

--FEARless

REPOST:
That was a game won on heart and pride. Fisher stepped fully into his leadership position and led with his actions as well as his words. This is why I don't see Fish's place in the starting line up in jeopardy, he's just better at being a PG than either Farmar or Brown. He sees and can organize how the offense is run. Farmar and Brown are getting good at working within the offense.
Big difference.


Right now Queen Latifah is breaking down America the Beautiful, not badly either. Maybe a little more James Brown and a little less pure gospel.

Anyhoo, my main point is that it's hard to argue that all 3 guards had solid, well-played games. No glaring errors, good D played within the triangle. I'd like to see Farmar work on his over-the-top passes some day. Twice in the 4th Gasol's man was fronting him, Pau had a lo seal on and Farmar wouldn't pull the trigger on a lob or an over-the-top pass. Easy assist, no secondary defender, 4th quarter, don't make Gasol get around his man to come set you a screen, get it to your big man.


Sasha had a mild case of redemption and it was good he did that well. I thought he might explode against Denver and I was glad we weren't playing in the low pressure atmosphere of Denver or he actually might have. He seems to actually be calming down.


Really not enough can be said about the boys from Queens, Lamar and Ron played with their hearts, stayed in control (although Lamar had on 0-3 3-point streak going at one time that left me puzzled) and kept the team hustling. Lamar displayed a leadership quality last night I had never seen on the court, maybe it's just 'cause I'd never noticed, but he was in his teams faces keeping them moving forward in a scrappy game.


Ron;s best game as a Laker, hands down. He may have had better statistical games but this one was big in terms of him willing the Lakers to win. That half-court 3 at the end of the half was absolutely key in providing a locker room spark to sustain them into the 3rd. He was awesome.


Gasol was steady, too, but seems to have hit a wall and I wouldn't be surprised if Phil limited his minutes in the 2nd half of the season just to keep him fresh for the playoffs. He said as much in the Times this morning in a quote about his legs; but not only must he be tired but he's got to be annoyed with his lack of love from recent ref crews. He's been taking a pounding of Shaq-like proportions without the trips to the charity stripe. Homie's an All-Star, not Mikki Moore!


All in all a very satisfying win in a place they're hard to come by.

During the pregame Peyton was shown entering the stadium, and boy does he have his game face on, equivalent of Kobe's scowl during the Finals. Two dedicated and very skilled athletes. Im quite torn on who to root for, my mind says Colts, but my heart says Saints, typical women dilemma haha. But I'm expecting a good game and commercials. Have a lovely superbowl sunday everyone!

I'm with you Zaira with regards to Odom. After reading the SI column on Lamar last year, the guy got my outmost respect. He may be inconsistent but that's the way it is with him. The good thing about him being inconsistent is that the opponents would not know who's Lamar will show up :) :) :)

BTW, I love your posts. You are now one of my favorite Lakerholics, next to my cabalen Edwin Gueco. Keep it up. Just like you, my IPhone is my source of Lakers news. I don't dig NFL as well but I know some players.

Zaira -

I love reading your posts. So refreshing.

Thank you for writing!

IN THE HEART OF THE STORM…
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Lots of great passion and emotion on the blog today. It’s the resurrection of the GHFers versus the GHEers from the halcyon early days of the blog. Funny how the growing lack of civility and respect on the blog parallels the same polarizing phenomenon in our politics. Makes you wonder if we’re really talking about the same band of naysayers.
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Just have to laugh at predictable posts suggesting that we trade Kobe because we have just proved we are a better team without him. When you think that some guy suddenly beamed on this as a good idea, you really don’t know whether to laugh or cry. All this noise about good Kobe and bad Kobe is old news. It’s much ado about nothing. Kobe is a team player.
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When Lamar Odom starts gobbling up rebounds like he did last night, you realize what a sacrifice he makes to be willing to come off the bench. I wish Lamar could play with that ferocity all of the time. I wish he could teach it to Drew and Pau. I agree with Khloe’s tweet. Lamar’s game. WOW. And Lamar’s post up moves were super sweet tonight.
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I hope Drew is OK. I don’t know what is going on with him but, as with all players, we need consistent play, which means we need to put Andrew in the best situation possible to succeed. That means we need to make sure to get him his touches. It is to Drew’s and the team’s best interests. We cannot beat the Celtics or Cavaliers or elite physical teams without him.
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Pau has really been struggling. Teams are throwing a lot of physicality at him and it has taken him out of his game. And when Pau gets flustered like that, he can be intimidated. It
almost feels like all of the non-stop basketball has finally had its toll, despite the time off for the hamstrings. We need the Pau from last year’s playoffs – not the softer new model.
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While I doubt Phil will do it, I think it is time that we gave Jordan Farmar a chance to start to show what he can do playing starter minutes. His play the last month has been superb and he would give the starting lineup some well needed speed. He is also shooting 40% on 3’s the last month, hitting his free throws, and playing much better defense. It’s time.
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I personally love how Artest has been playing. He is a load to handle defensively for almost any player. He is also probably the best 3-point shooter on the team. As he gets all his health back, we will surely see the last of those who felt we should have kept Ariza. Just look back to the Celtic game to see how his toughness has transformed this team.
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Finally, kudos and thanks to the positive posters who keep the faith. Great posts by JohnnyV, Zaira, Jamie, Edwin. Jon K, hang tough, good friend. Murder of crows. Great song by Counting Crows. Always loved that phrase but crows are the most reptilian of birds.
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Tom


R& NOT YOUR 2008 LOS ANGELES LAKERS…
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The last time the Los Angeles Lakers met the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, the underdog tougher more physical Celtics outmuscled and outfought a finesse Lakers team to win the NBA championship. Unfortunately for Boston, this is not your soft 2008 Los Angeles Lakers who could be pushed around. Today, Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest served notice that this was not your 2008 LA Lakers team.
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If there was a single play besides Kobe’s game winner that highlighted the difference between this year’s Lakers team it was Drew’s slamming that awesome dunk right down KG’s trash talking throat. Make no mistake, Kobe may have made the game winner but the player of the game was Andrew Bynum, who dominated Perkins and Garnett and silenced the Bynum Bashers for at least one game.
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It’s great to see Ron starting to get healthy again and playing the kind of physical defense that limited long time Lakers nemesis Paul Pierce to 4-11 shooting and a critical late turnover on an offensive foul. Pau still struggles against more physical teams and defenders but still did a good job and fought hard. He just needs to get more of an aggressive physical attack attitude against certain players.
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Thank God Phil was watching the same game I was, where every time he took out Andrew Bynum, the Lakers immediately got beaten in the paint and lost points. Thank God Phil realized that we needed Drew’s power game in the fourth quarter more than Pau’s finesse game. That was a big time performance from Drew on the season’s biggest stage. And a big vote of confidence from Phil.
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It was great to see another sizzling performance from Jordan Farmar, especially after my recent post making the case for him as the Lakers next starting point guard. In fact, I might have an old copy of the Start Farmar Bandwagon, which dates back to the Smush Parker as the Lakers starting point guard days. Who knows, there may be good reason to resurrect it before the end of this year.
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Finally, what more can you say about Kobe Bryant. Limping, landing on one foot to protect a sprained ankle, and playing with a medical dictionary of injuries to different body parts. He will be the GOAT when his playing days are over. I’ve lost track of how many game winning shots Kobe has sunk this season. It was great to see Mamba nail a clutch game winner against the hated Celtics.
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Now the only question is whether or not to let Drew play tomorrow against the Grizzlies? I say sit him even though he has survived the January jinx. It would be too cruel to play him and then have him get injured a third year in a row in Memphis. That is career ending bad karma. Take the day off, Drew. I have a hunch you are going to be seeing a lot more minutes in the fourth quarter.
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Tom
NOT YOUR 2008 LOS ANGELES LAKERS…
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The last time the Los Angeles Lakers met the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, the underdog tougher more physical Celtics outmuscled and outfought a finesse Lakers team to win the NBA championship. Unfortunately for Boston, this is not your soft 2008 Los Angeles Lakers who could be pushed around. Today, Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest served notice that this was not your 2008 LA Lakers team.
-
If there was a single play besides Kobe’s game winner that highlighted the difference between this year’s Lakers team it was Drew’s slamming that awesome dunk right down KG’s trash talking throat. Make no mistake, Kobe may have made the game winner but the player of the game was Andrew Bynum, who dominated Perkins and Garnett and silenced the Bynum Bashers for at least one game.
-
It’s great to see Ron starting to get healthy again and playing the kind of physical defense that limited long time Lakers nemesis Paul Pierce to 4-11 shooting and a critical late turnover on an offensive foul. Pau still struggles against more physical teams and defenders but still did a good job and fought hard. He just needs to get more of an aggressive physical attack attitude against certain players.
-
Thank God Phil was watching the same game I was, where every time he took out Andrew Bynum, the Lakers immediately got beaten in the paint and lost points. Thank God Phil realized that we needed Drew’s power game in the fourth quarter more than Pau’s finesse game. That was a big time performance from Drew on the season’s biggest stage. And a big vote of confidence from Phil.
-
It was great to see another sizzling performance from Jordan Farmar, especially after my recent post making the case for him as the Lakers next starting point guard. In fact, I might have an old copy of the Start Farmar Bandwagon, which dates back to the Smush Parker as the Lakers starting point guard days. Who knows, there may be good reason to resurrect it before the end of this year.
-
Finally, what more can you say about Kobe Bryant. Limping, landing on one foot to protect a sprained ankle, and playing with a medical dictionary of injuries to different body parts. He will be the GOAT when his playing days are over. I’ve lost track of how many game winning shots Kobe has sunk this season. It was great to see Mamba nail a clutch game winner against the hated Celtics.
-
Now the only question is whether or not to let Drew play tomorrow against the Grizzlies? I say sit him even though he has survived the January jinx. It would be too cruel to play him and then have him get injured a third year in a row in Memphis. That is career ending bad karma. Take the day off, Drew. I have a hunch you are going to be seeing a lot more minutes in the fourth quarter.
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Tom
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Tom

MM.

Sorry about the old stuff appended to the end of my last post. The danger of cutting and pasting.

Tom

Sean Payton gets my kudos for a creative and aggressive coaching scheme. The Saints have my admiration for playing tough, smart and with heart. And the City of New Orleans deserves a long overdue trophy. Glad its for their FOOTBALL team.

ZairaAmaterasu,

"Anyone getting Kobe's admire especially regarding work ethic is automathically admired by me."

I had the pleasure of meeting Peyton Manning on a video shoot at The Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach some time ago shortly after he entered the league. We didn't have a lot of direct interaction, but I was in the room with him multiple times when he was dealing with the director and such.

I was surprised by how respectful and humble he came across, constantly referring to people as "Sir" and "Maam."

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Oh, how I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

Yeah baby like the Lakers this year we're underdog to the superior Cavs and Lebron and we will repeat. We will repeat. Believe!!!!

@ aztronut, I agree, he should sit the All Star Game. When I wrote he should sit out "till the All Star game it was just sloppy grammar on my part. I didn't mean to imply he should actually play in the All Star Game, just that he shouldn't play any games until after the All Star game at least. Sorry for the mix up.

I like Reggie Bush because I hope he will personally destroy the USC football program through sanctions.

Still, the New Orleans Saints are a good story and I'm glad they won the Super Bowl.

GO BRUINS!!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!

I am actually in COLTS country and was rooting for them, but if any team beats them I am happy it's the Saints. Saints out-coached, outplayed, and out smarted the Colts, a well-deserved win. Both teams should be in the hunt the next few years.

Lakers a better team without Kobe, puuullleeeeeeeze! I will say that Kobe and the team hopefully learned from the Portland game. It's Phil's job to force them to meld their collective game. Also, surely UPS has earned his 35 minutes per game by now. Like to see him start. I wonder if LO should as well and have Drew coming off the Bench and Fish, that way Drew can get those passes from Fish. I am still not convinced that Drew will ever have the "Beast" instinct, just to nice a guy.

Oh, back to the Super Bowl game. It's interesting how a couple plays turn the MO around. In the first half, that personal foul call on the Colts for hitting the Saints player out of bounds (thought that was a very poor call, especially after seeing the replay) and Garcon dropping a wide-open pass that forced Colts out of their drive, and the on-side-kick was HUGE. Colts also missed a critical field goal as well and the Peyton (Brett Farve can breathe now) Manning interception. Freeney and Wayne being hurt didn't help them either, but that's the breaks. I guess my Colt's preference is showing, oh well, back to the Lakers, ha, ha!

Wow the Saints actually won it. Talk about a magical season.

Lakers related, the "Favre MVP 2020" commercial was hilarious and easily the best, but seeing LO pop up in Barkley's Taco Bell commercial was also hilarious because, as we all know, Taco Bell is the last thing LO needs.

After seeing Peyton Manning LOSE in the Super Bowl, I hope that it is a wake up call to the Lakers that they will have to work HARD in order to win the championship.

This year, all I see often is soft play from the Lakers. I hope to see better after watching the favored Colts LOSE.

The NBA championship won't be just given to the Lakers. They will have to play HARD.

I was sorely disappointed in how they lost to Denver and Cleveland this year.

The Lakers can't expect to show up SOFT like they have in the past.

This is a message to the ENTIRE TEAM.

The only players that haven't played soft are Kobe, Ron and Fisher. The other players have to be more assertive - and this includes Pau - mister softie..

I see the comments on Lakers not needing Kobe and he usual Drew bashers.

Give it rest. Kobe is trying to do too much with all his injuries and needs to become balanced between scorer and facilitator. He has done it before and can do it again. But to say we don't need the best player in the NBA is ludicrous.

Drew is getting his confidence back after two seasons in a row of freak knee injuries. He has shown he can play both offense and defense prior to injury and lately shown he is getting back to that mentality. He needs to back defensive player down low and dunk over player to get an and one. Put the defense into restricted zone and dunk. No more bunnies.

We need another good pereimeter defender who is also a good 3 point shooter. A pg who fits that mentality is best.

opps name is JustaLakerFan

44 west
44 pt. kobe past west
44 superbowl
44 president called the saints the winners

Hahah it was totally hilarious seeing LO pop up in the Taco Bell commercial, that was pretty random and totally unexpected. We all had a good laugh and asked why, LO, why!

More Kool-Aid, Laker Tom?

No one is suggesting the Lakers would be better without KB. But many of us are suggesting the Lakers would be better if KB actually was a team player, rather than a "pecking order" player, as he himself has stated on more than one occasion.

On offense, Kobe does not play the triangle. Rather, he stands outside and demands the ball, without running the triangle patterns. (No less an authority than Jerry West said last week that the Lakers do not run an offense, but rather just try to get the ball to Kobe in certain spots.)

Similarly, he does not play within the Lakers defense. He prefers to play "centerfield," looking to get steals, while leaving his own man open and thereby compromising the defense as a whole.

When one man is not playing the team's offense and not playing the team's defense either, EVERYONE is going to look bad. The offense won't work, and the defense won't work either, as we have seen time and again this season.

This is what I mean when I say that in subtle ways, Kobe actually makes the other Lakers' players worse, not better.

When he plays within the team concept, the Lakers cannot be beaten. They have too much talent, and they play the offense and defense reasonably well.

But when he tries to be the star, the whole thing breaks down, and the Lakers generally play like garbage, like they did against Houston and Orlando in the playoffs last year, failing to dominate teams they are much much better than.

Unfortunately, Kobe's ego doesn't seem able to handle the team concept for extended periods of time. It seems he spent too much time watching Michael Jordan videos as a child, rather than absorbing the lessons in videos of Magic Johnson.

Regardless of whether he is being aggressive or passive, dominating the ball or letting others take all the shots, in BOTH cases he is not playing within the flow of the offense. Instead, he needs to actually be part of the triangle, and take the shots that come to him in the offense, and let others shoot when shots come to them.

Simply making up his mind to do too much of the shooting or too little is selfish either way: The game becomes all about him, rather than being about winning.

The Lakers have such talent now that, when they play their game properly, they don't need Kobe to be the hero very often. But when he dominates the ball, and plays his own defense outside the defensive scheme, the Lakers are going to play much worse than their capabilities, and as johnny v explained so well, it's precisely then that they will need Kobe's heroics.

In this way, it's as if he sets up the team to fail, so he can be the savior.

That is crazy. He needs a psychiatrist more than a strength coach.

Morning crew :)

Surprised by the fact our National tv broadcasted live the SuperBowl yesterday (I was awake only till briefly after the Saints hit the 10-3 point, then Morpheus had me, sorry...), and congratulating the town of New Orleans for the well welcomed and blissful achievement (I thought I'd root for the Colts due to Manning, but I caught a glimpse of his words on CNN and I saw the extreme class and gentle-ness he had for the winners, so it's only fair to be happy for the Saints and their epic win, of course), I come and sneak in to thank Cali (you sweet :)) and Jeannette for the props. Wow... all the time that makes me blush. I mean... I really do it. My collegues at work make fun of me for that. It's visible.

LakerTom... you always are so humbling me with your words. Thanx. It feels hugely rewarding for me to have your consideration. Really (and of course I am positive. I mean, to be a Laker fan is a bless. I don't go nuts easily for games lost. I want to win badly, but I can put things in perspective and I do love the game, and the way Lakers play this game, first and foremost. It's a bless to be a Lakerholic and I know out from it I will live tons of satisfactory moments. I can be phylosophical even both about win and losses cos I know I won't have anyway to wait that much to live new and new wins. That's a privileged position. Each season is like reading a new book, a new adventure, and can grow in my appreciation of the game and of the fandom also through down moments. These new generations seem unable to appreciate the ride. But although I ma not even 25, I beg to differ there. Life is up and down. Sport, the best kind of it, is also up and down. Only delusional people think anybody can always and only win, all the time. That's a shallow, ungrown upassumption, isn't it? I appreciate the state we are at. Other teams cannot even come close to our position anyway. I wish the fans were way more balanced, fair and foresightening about this whole situation, but of course, not everyone could. World is fine cos it's variated. And class cannot be taught, either. ;) Always a pleasure to talk with you and in your same environment, Sir. Always.)

JonK, I thank you for your Manning note. I know you admire Kobe's ethic as much as me so I guess your appreciation for Peyton may come enhanced also from his own admire for him, just like it happens with me. I asked my bf to provide me Manning notions and he actually said he was raised up in New Orleans, so there it comes a full circle for the output of yesterday SuperBowl, too.

FEARless, about my sentence about Lamar, I wasn't meant to diss his supposed "softness at heart" like a synonime for "weakness and lack of aggressive play". I was metaphorically calling him out for he is REALLY a sweet human being, gentle and kind, which is rare among successful players (i.e.: I met Sasha Vujacic thrice and he's a selfreferential arrogant person. He's also hugely disrespecteful towards female - note: like he thinks anybody would love to hang with him. NO WAY.You're not that cute, Mr. Vujacic, always remember that...- And he's not even a tenth as talented as Lamar. Just to say which way I was meaning that).
Lamar is a sweet, sweet heart. He comes genuinely grateful at you when you show him you appreciate him as a player and even more when you confess him you like him as a person. He smiles and he makes his eyes as thin as lines smiling also with them, and then you se he almost retracts cos he thinks he doesn't deserve that.
That's sweet.
Totally adorable.
Lamar is not "soft" as a player. He's actually not even fully aware of how huge his talent is (Kobe knows that too, and he always tries to patronize him the best and kinder way to be more confident in himself. He's like an older and wiser brother to him... I find that adorable too.)
I will always think and openly state one of the major keys to our repeat is a great season by Lamar. As a sixth man. This would trash any competition cos in any other team Lamar would start, and rightly so. But he's so committed to the Lakers he has accepted to be the sixth. This is loyalty to the Lakers. And a further reason for me to love Lamar.

Have a great day.
Tonight game is on on Italian tv on Sky3, which means a commentary in Italian (the one I will listen to, cos I love those commenting).
See you later here and in chat, of course.

Again... congratulations to the town of New Orleans. regardless of fanship, everybody should be happy for them.
;)

Simply nonsense, Kobe is just flattering Peyton Manning. Peyton plays a sport that he's on the field 30-minutes over the course of 3+ hours, it's run a play for 5-10 seconds, then take a minute off when he is on. All the other positions on the field have more strenuous roles than QB.

Kobe on the other hand plays 38+ minutes of non-stop, hard running action. You can't compare the fitness level of an NBA player to any other sport in the world outside of soccer. Yes, football players do work on their strength, but overall an NBA player is more fit IMO than the average football player.

Not measuring the amount of success, I am CERTAIN Kobe could easily play QB over a whole NFL game and not be overly tired, however Peyton probably couldn't play more than a few minutes of NBA-speed basketball without getting winded...

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

It's always great to check back in with the most passionate Lakers fans worldwide.

Well, another ADVERSITY test comes to town tonight by way of the Spurs. With this in mind, it would be great to see KB24 and Bynum sit this one out for good measure. Why not? Like I said before, this Lakers team has the talent to keep up the pace on the win column without its stars, whether its KB24 or Gasol.

Hmmm...Thinking about the game coming up, I'm curious to see if the win at Portland taught the Lakers a thing or too about themselves moving forward. I BELIEVE it did. Sometimes, all it takes is a spark of some sort...

After all, it is ADVERSITY that makes teams great. The last time I checked, our Lakers fit that mold.

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

Peace!

Just a brief comment about the Super Bowl game before getting back to our Lakers. This game had a stunning, strategic turnaround, perhaps the most unexpected and dramatic I've ever seen. I'm talking about the Saints' unbelievable on-side kickoff to start the second half. Wow. Talk about betting the house on one play.

Up until that play, the Colts and Manning were very much in control, and the Saints had been scrambling just to stay in the game. With that opening shot to the second half, the Saints' coach was declaring: We're going all out for the win, no matter what. Brilliant. From that point on, the roles were completely reversed, with the Colts having to scramble to keep up.

A lesson here for Phil and the Lakers: if you want those rings again, you better go all out for the win, no matter what. The Portland win was the first game all year where it looked like everyone, coaches and players, were doing just that.

Back to the Lakers now.

I must say that reading the posts that suggest the Lakers would be better off without Kobe remind me of the story of Winston Churchill being driven through the English countryside by a know-it-all young soldier. As they drove by a pasture, the young soldier opined that the sheep standing by the fence had been all shorn that morning. Without looking up from his papers, Churchill said, "Yes, at least on the side you can see."

Look, we all can agree that the Portland game was a great statement game for confirming that this team has plenty of "non-Kobe talent," and that it wins when they all get involved, with the ball moving, and everyone playing with passion, with or without Kobe. But I don't even have to look up to add, "Yes, at least for one game without Kobe."

Hopefully, not only the team (and Phil) learned something, but so too did Kobe watching them. But make no mistake about it, this is a team custom-built around Kobe, with Kobe as the nucleus. He needs them, and they need him. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing how they all respond after Kobe returns (please...AFTER the All-Star break).

jimjoyce,

I've been lookin' for you. I'd like to see you address some things vs.
just punting to "Kobe is evil" [ paraphrase ]

Things to address: Pau has said that his legs are fatigued multiple times.
- ref. http://tinyurl.com/yg796yy
- ref. http://tinyurl.com/ygyr6rr
- if you don't think it makes/made a difference then why did Pau indicate
that it was noticeable?
D-Fish's shooting percentage.
- .37%
- ref ocregister: Many of Fisher’s other stats pretty much stink,
Defense
- KB is the #2 sg rebounder in the game, #5 in steals,
- LO is the #5 rebounder as a PF.
- neither Pau nor Bynum show up under Center in the top 10 defensive stats.
- While you're doing a comparison remember that MJ & Pippen were all nba
defense for years, as is Kobe. i.e. If you're going to make a weak argument
about him not playing team defense you need to explain why he keeps
getting all nba defense accolades.


You wrote: On offense, Kobe does not play the triangle. Rather, he stands outside and demands the ball, without running the triangle patterns. (No less an authority than Jerry West said last week that the Lakers do not run an offense, but rather just try to get the ball to Kobe in certain spots.)

My response: This is a url to the wikipedia page for the triangle offense.
http://tinyurl.com/yzh2cnx

It says: The desired initial option in the offense is to pass to the strong-side post player on the block who is in good scoring position. From there the player has the options of looking to score or pass to one of the perimeter players who are exchanging from strong-side corner and wing, a dive cut down the lane, or the opposite wing flashing to the top of the key which initiates another common option known as the "pinch post".

Per Phil Jackson: Denver did a good job of denying the initial pass into the
post.

Per SilverScreenandRoll.com: Pau continues to struggle with other team's physicality

My observation is that Pau is not playing like he was last year when we won
with the person you say doesn't play team basketball. We are playing with
a new SF who has plantar fascitus who Kobe has given a number of
assists. Our outside shooting has sucked, which makes sense because we
loss Trevor. Bynum has been our starting Center and only plays well when
Kobe feeds him lobs and Pau is not playing. If you think that Bynum is
playing well, check his minutes. Phil keeps yanking him. Portland game
he gets yanked for a hip pointer and swelling in the knee. a 37 yr old man
burned him like toast.

From John Ireland of espn: The Lakers also played as a team. Inside the Rose Garden, there is a giant electronic scoreboard that is called the "hustle board." It keeps track of blocked shots, rebounds and steals. On the night, the Lakers had more rebounds (47 to 30) than the Trail Blazers and more steals (8 to 5) to help win the hustle board 57-38.

Please address how Kobe is affecting the lack of "blocked shots, rebounds
& steals". Specifically, who got them against Portland and who has *NOT*
been getting them when Kobe plays.

You wrote this: It seems he spent too much time watching Michael Jordan videos as a child, rather than absorbing the lessons in videos of Magic Johnson.

My response: Do you think it is appropriate for a SG to absorb the lessons
from a SG or a POINT GUARD? Do you think a 6'6" player has the vision of
a 6'9" player? If you are going to continue to castigate Kobe because he
doesn't play pg like Magic in a different offense than Magic played in, why
don't you castigate Kobe for not averaging 50 pts per game, as a C, like Wilt
Chamberlain did? Why not throw him under the bus for not being a defensive
C like Bill Russell? Why not trade him because he's not a GM like Jerry West?
All of these comparisons are logically just as valid.

As far as I know, in professional basketball there have been 3 championship
teams that have won with the Triangle offense. Twice with the Chicago Bulls.
[ 3-peat ] The LA Lakers [ 3-peat ]. Please tell me which LA Laker shoots as
well as John Paxon or Steve Kerr? Per a screenandroll article, we are missing
outside shooting from last year. Please tell me which LA Laker is as good/
consistent as Pippen. [ I'm expecting to see a lot of nba all-star accolades ]
Please tell me which LA Laker is as physical or as good in the post as Shaq.
[ Once again, I'm expecting to see a LOT of all-star accolades. ] Name
1 LA Laker who was able to carry his team deep into the playoffs. Shaq
did it w/o Kobe. Pippen did it without MJ. Pau was 0-12 w/o Kobe. LO
never reached the playoffs without Kobe. Kobe played 1 year without LO
and got injured. W/ LO, Kwame, Mihm & Smush we were 1 win away from
beating Phoenix. W/ a busted LO, Smush & Kwame we made it to the playoffs.

You wrote this: Unfortunately, Kobe's ego doesn't seem able to handle the team concept for extended periods of time.

My response: You seem to have the memory of a gnat. Allow me to refresh
your memory. TEAM USA! For two summers, Kobe sublimated his offensive
game. No player on team USA called Kobe a ballhog. Coach K, one of the
best college coaches ever, did not call Kobe a ballhog. Gold medal game.
8:43 left. What did coach K do? Timeout. "Kobe. Now. Do your thing!"

I am willing to change my opinion should you provide stats/facts, but as of
now ... I find your analysis of the Lakers to be factually wrong, without
evidence or merit & flat out putrid.

These are facts: D-Fish's shooting percentage has been horrible this year.
Artest is injured. Pau is out of shape. LO has been inconsistent. Bynum has
been inconsistent. Kobe has covered for all of these problems and we have
the 2nd best record in the NBA. Take your vomit and go cheer for the Cavs.

Last comment (sorry, I feel like I just came out of hibernation after six months of Super Bowl stuff).

I must say that the postings this past week have been the most interesting, intelligent, and insightful ever (both about the Lakers...and inevitably about the posters themselves). This is not only the best sports blog, but perhaps the best blog, period. Any kind. Anywhere. It's more like a writers' salon (and the game chat is more like a writers' saloon, much like the bar scene in Star Wars, with Jon K on the lucky barstool).

We have among us an amazing mix of personalities, backgrounds, writing styles, confrontation styles, love-hate dynamics, and more. MM, our amazing blogtender tosses all of it into his blender-du-blog, hits the Frappe button, and Voila!...Laker smoothies (virgin, for Zaira, vodka-infused for the rest of us). Shots!

Seriously, you guys (and yeah, all you Laker babes too) are great. Cheers!

wow, now I've seen it all. Someone saying Kobe doesn't have to play savior at the end of games if he has just ran the offense? Seriously? ANY game against the elite teams will come down to the star player making the play, whether that's with his shot or attracting the defense and setting up teammates.. and yes, teams, doesn't matter what offense they run, in clutch time, coaches will put the ball in their best player's hands.

Now, if you're saying Kobe needs to be patient and set up the guys earlier in the game more, I agree.

Lakerfan - they're just pointing out that if KB plays a complete game the way he's supposed to play, the last-second heroics would never be necessary. Seriously, look at the four teams that he's hit game-winners against this year. At home against 24-27 Miami and 16-34 Sacramento. On the road against 23-26 Milwaukee and a Boston team that had lost 6 of its last 8. Are those the sort of games that should be coming down to the final shot?

Josh Powell is another who cannot finish around the rim and gets his shot blocked alot..No surprise he has fallen in love with the outside shot.

He seems like a nice dude which is the problem. Lakers have a bunch of nice dudes.. Another soft-ass that we need to replace! Plus he has short arms.

We are a great team and I would love to see us become that much greater with a few tweaks here and there.

Mitch will probably stand pat beyond maybe shedding some payroll. Besides, who is tryna help us win another title! No one.

Hate if you want to...but jimjoyce is right. Yeah, dude's a bonafide Kobe Hater, but I agree with him 80%. This team is TOO DEEP for Kobe to be yoking up 25-30 shots a game. And, YES, he DOESN'T need to be the savior of every single game! I'll take a 15 point win with Kobe scoring 18 points than a 1 point win with Kobe scoring 45 any day!

If Kobe played more within the offense he would still have to play savior in some games. I just think that there would be a lot less of those games.

It has nothing to do with how much better Kobe is than his teammates. It has nothing to do with how many shots he takes. It has nothing to do with who is the preferred choice for taking a shot with the game on the line.

Simply, are the Lakers a better team (read "more successful") when Kobe works his magic from within the system, or from outside the system?

The answer seems blindingly obvious to me. Am I missing something?

You also have to recognize that not just lakers, most of the elite teams do struggle to muster up the energy against the so-called weak teams.. if it takes Kobe to bring that extra energy and play the savior role, I'll take it over a loss ANY time. Of course, it would help if the laker big men actually boxed out guys instead of reaching for rebounds (Odom was the savior against Portland) or if Ron or someone hits the perimeter shots every game.. fact of the matter is, it doesn't happen on a consistent basis.

Pau still had a weak game against Portland.. was very soft. Odom was the x-factor and was mobile and active. That's what the lakers need. Not a Pau/Bynum lineup that slows everything down. I've been calling for Pau/Odom starting lineup since early in the season.. I just don't see this team achieving its maximum potential with things the way they are.

Even if Pau/Bynum start and Bynum can't handle going back to the bench, the rotations have to be so that Odom is the second big guy. he just provides better spacing and activity leading to better chemistry. Things didn't change until Bynum went to the bench against Portland. They were killing the lakers with pick and rolls and pick and pops earlier.

I share Lamar's feeling. Colts is my favorite NFL team but I didn't feel too bad when they lost to the Saints. The superbowl had a feel-good ending knowing that New Orleans have gained the ultimate boost towards recovery after the hurricane Katrina. I know Peyton feels this too. I hope next season will hand him his 2nd superbowl ring. Though it's a mini-heartbreak for me w/ the Colts losing this season, I have high hopes w/ the Lakers repeating. Thanks for this post.

is he kidding? only 4 more championships in comparison to 1 and 1. Manning should be kissing Kobe's feet.


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