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Video Caption Contest: Lakers' Kobe Bryant unfazed by Matt Barnes' ball movement

Barnes-bryant_500

The ball approached Kobe Bryant. Bryant stared right back at it. The ball went away.

That's the simple "See Spot Run" explanation when describing Bryant's outward indifference to Orlando's Matt Barnes pretending to throw an inbounds pass to his face in what eventually resulted in a Lakers' 96-94 loss Sunday to the Magic. But how is that utterly possible, given just normal human reflexes? It's long been established that Bryant is far from normal, but the latest example raised the ante just a little bit. 

As for Bryant's explanation? Well, it seems that whether it's regarding his poor shooting or Barnes' antics, Bryant can't resist saying something that won't require muting his audio or bracketing out his quotes.

"I knew he wasn't going to do [anything]," Bryant said. "What would I flinch for?"

That certainly wasn't the case in the video below. Though Bryant mostly maintained a stoic and curt tone with reporters after Monday's practice, he let out a laugh after acknowledging he saw the video featuring the inbounds play. Bryant also expressed some annoyance when a reporter wondered how it was possible he didn't flinch with the ball so close to his face. 

This leads us into another Video Caption Contest describing the footage at the top of the post. Feel free to share your ideas below, and it will be featured in tomorrow's links post as the Video Caption Contest Comment of the Day. As an added bonus, we'll still have the general Reader Comment of the Day, so any words of wisdom regarding anything else Lakers-related won't go unnoticed.  

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: In this television screen capture from Sunday’s game, Matt Barnes pretends to throw an inbounds pass at Kobe Bryant’s face. Credit: ABC/ESPN.

 
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‘you puny human gnats can be more annoying than I had supposed! It is not my intention to harm any being! But in order to appease my hunger for more titles, I warn you that if you continue to oppose me, I will erase you with a single stroke!’

(yeah, I had to go all Stan Lee on y’alls tuchasses’)

Can I continue my dialogue?

[repost]

Edwin- so, the LATimes decides what constitutes objectionable or offensive language from, say, deciphering ancient hieroglyphics or hearing the words of a god? I really have to think that the opinions of the readers, ie us, would have to figure in there somewhere. And if nobody ever says anything, they wouldn't ever change their product to make it more appealing, yes?
yeah, i do kind of have a bit of an amateur interest in the topic of censorship, too, actually. I would love to debate it for a while. I can invoke john stuart mill, socrates, and mapplethorpe. (that's a joke) Also Frederic Wertheimer, Salman Rushdie, and Lenny Bruce.

But honestly, i advocate a 'censorship' ultimately not on the grounds of removing' objectionable or offensive content' or whatever it is, but on the grounds of quality control. I think that a comment should ultimately be about something. If my comment could be written by a compute program that reads 'if lakers score is less than other teams score, write 'luke sucks,' Why the heck would anybody want to read it? And if a significant portion of the comments are that boring, I as a consumer of content will choose another place to spend my time. And frankly, i doubt i am alone.

Marky Mark,

"Video Caption Contest: Lakers' Kobe Bryant unfazed by Matt Barnes' ball movement"

It should read, "Video Caption Contest: Lakers' Kobe Bryant COMPLETELY UNFRICKING unfazed by Matt Barnes' ball movement"

Kobe's the man.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Um, look at that picture. Isn't Barnes looking to the left of Kobe (Kobe's right)? And isn't Kobe turned slightly to the right and looking to his own right? And isn't it clear that the ball is directed over Kobe's right shoulder, instead of "into his face" like so many people are pretending? Look at how the camera angle is from behind Barnes - if the ball was really directed towards Kobe's face, it would be hitting his chin/nose right there.

Caption: "Dude, I'm motherfricken Kobe Bryant. What the frick do you think you're doing?"

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

In all seriousness, 99.95% of people would have flinched.

Kobe's heartbeat didn't even skip.

Awesome awesomeness.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

If Matt Barnes was a Laker, the league will look at this and probably fine him. But he's not a Laker, so they will look the other way.

Here's two cents worth (I think). Our team is pretty much this:

1) Kobe is sooo driven, perhaps to a fault of either not trusting (not sure he's confident of who to trust now days) his teammates or giving up on them if they don't measure to his high standards (you know, missing a shot so I'm not passing to you again this game). He is our best, however.
2) Pau is what he is, a forward with skills, not a bruising body. He is and probably will always be a finesse style player. He is very good in that role.
3) Ron is still searching, sometimes good from the outside, sometimes good on the inside and sometimes very good on "D."
4) Drew is very skilled and has great, ugh, potential. I think it's mostly time for him to man up and play great "D" and intimidate. Kobe would respect that and probably share the ball with him more. I think the thing Kobe disliked about Shaq was how hard he didn't work.
5) Fish is over the hill, but if used properly could still be an asset (especially late game). It's not anything that doesn't happen to most 35 year old players.
6) Lamar, well, he's Lamar. When he gets on a roll, he's tough. Perhaps starting would be better for him?
7) Jordan is in need of real minutes to prove he can really play, one way or the other.
8) Shannon is sometimes very good and explosive, but like Jordan, needs minutes to establish his game.
9) Sasha, well, just hoped he would return to his shooting form of two years ago, what an asset he could be, but needs minutes too.
10) Josh is good every so often too, but there's not enough time for him either.
11) DJ is a fair back up when needed.
12) Adam, we will never know for sure, but we think he doesan't have what it takes overall.
13) Luke, smart, fair, but don't think he's going to be of help this year. I just remember a couple years ago how ell he was playing until he got hurt, down hill since then.

That's what we have people. Last year it was good enough, this year we hope it's good enough and that when the Playoffs start we will turn the switch to the "ON" position!

23,24,&29 not bad numbers for a starting trio. I'll tell you guys I have not seen a trade work like this since the gasol trade that shifted the power in the west. Dallas has got it going. I hope they start loosing. I'm a very frustrated fan right now.

CrzyFan

Statistics don't lie.

Kobe sits, Lakers win.

Kobe plays, Lakers lose.

Trade this kid Mitch for a TEAM player.

He's gettin' old!! And his body is breaking up!!

"Trust me, it smells like cinnamon!"

>>>Posted by: LA Guy | March 08, 2010 at 08:13 PM
Hey LA Guy, I'm an LA guy too! And I'm not a Laker fan, so I'll call it like I see it too!

Youtube it, and you'll see it better! A 2 dimensional picture is SOOOO misleading. We're not trying to be purposefully misleading are we? ARE WE?

Haha, cool, so I've got an unbiased, LA guy that isn't a Laker fan on here too! Suite, me, you and Dfish will have a good time being completely and utterly unbiased for these Laker fans!

Go LA guys, YEAH!

DJ -

I've only read a few of your recent posts, but I like the level of candidness and fairness in your posts.

Thanks for throwing some sanity to this blog.

wha?

Cali,

Thanks, enjoy your comment as well.

Probably should clear up one more thing about some wanting to trade Kobe. He has (correct me if I am wrong MM) a No Trade contract, meaning he would have to approve of any trade. Besides that, this next year, his contract allows him to opt out (meaning Lakers would get nothing in return). So whether one is a Kobe fan or not, he holds all the cards. Sounds like Kobe doesn't it, whether one likes him or not.

yeah, that was dirty pool. ok, i am sorry, i will be nice.

and ironic.

sopher- sanity?

Caption 1: "Toughness and Intimidation according to Matt Barnes"
Caption 2: "Look at me! Look at me! I'm finally on a team where I have good teammates to hide behind in case something goes wrong! Yippee!"

Can't tell without a 3-D pic.

Looks aligned vertically, but how about horizontally.

Not the first time Kobe had alignment problems. And no, I am not talking about that final shot in Orl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPNrxI--CLY

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!

How 'bout a brick? And no, I am not talking about that final shot in Orl.

Kobe still sux!

p ang

you had 5 lines that deserve 5 stars

I don't post very often, but have been a fairly consistent reader of this blog, and I'm compelled to speak up... not about the Lakers --they'll work through the current situation-- but about what's happened to this blog. The moderator is confusing democracy with anarchy. It's no longer a conversation.. it's a shouting match. Something idiots can win at. MM, if you value this blog, you need to actively MODERATE it. I enjoy posters like wesjoe and Phred, whose wit and humor enhances what might just be a boring sports blog. It galls me that you don't have their back.
Anybody know Yeats' great poem "The Second Coming"? I'm thinking of the line: "The best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of passionate intensity."

"Nope it does not say official Kobe Bryant NBA ball yet Matt. Just Spalding for now, when I'm done Jerry will still have the logo but I will be the ball.


M

"Not the first time Kobe had alignment problems. And no, I am not talking about that final shot in Orl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPNrxI--CLY"


LOL! That's a great comparison. Remember how many people here tried to claim that Kobe was really jumping over that car? The same people who couldn't tell that Kobe wasn't directly over the car are the ones who can't tell that the ball isn't directly in Kobe's face.

'and the blog moderator no longer responds to the blog moderatoror, all threads fall apart, the cleared comments no longer holds our attention....'

wow. actually, i am really moved.

ok, FCM, all extraneous comments aside, I know that one thing remains true;

THE LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS, THE LOVE WANTS EVERYBODY TO STAND UP AND SAY 'WE ARE (*&*(&ING LAKERS FANS!"

"WE ARE UNCENSORED LAKERS FANS!"

WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE LAKERS ANYWHERE! ANYTIME! AND ANY )*(&*(&ING WHERE!

EVEN IF pHRED LOSES IT!

IT IS BIGGER THAN US!

ok, well, thanks, usedtocare. we can work it out. FCM will hopefully let us knash this out between ourselves, and maybe even join us.

oh heck, my comments about being censored are not quite getting cleared, and i am no longer allowed to contradict myself. Do I contradict myself? Very well, i contradict myself. I am large, i contain multitudes.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

GO LAKERS!

Well to me the problem lies in the mind. The Lakers don't look focused , they don't look engaged, they don't look empowered. I recommend that they start working on their minds by doing spatial exercises. This can be accomplished not by looking at objects but by visualizing for an extended period of time such as by reading an interesting type of book (and stay the hell away from the tv as much as possible, as neuroscientists have said it inhibits learning!!) I suggest they meditate and visualize spatial events such as by imagining vividly and with details but with intensity. They don't need to work on their bodies at all. Frankly they look tired. If I were them I would start of by reading like 3 hours daily(3 hours is key to some minds in order to change erratic beta waves into smoother more comforting rhythmic waves that is associated with confidence), especially before playoffs IMO. Oh and I also recommend that if Luke can play that he do so. He can serve as a glue guy in moments like this, sort of like a reset button or something small but that can be very very invaluable which can reap them great rewards. LUKE = CHEMISTRY! And not to be a hater but Fisher needs to not be placed in situations where he's gonna create stupid fouls.

DJ- good points. thanks for commenting.

One more thing. ITS A GAME- just stop the bs and have fun people!
You can crumble any obstacle with a strong belief. I think the Lakers have hit rock bottom, this could actually be good. Lakers can at least now start to regain that belief and build some momentum.
I was a bit worried for the playoffs this season after yesterdays game, but then I started thinking about all the factors, such as Luke's injury, Kobe's strong determination, and for some reason I'm back on the bandwagon. I think Odom should play more minutes than Bynum. Something is wrong with that guy right now. I think his &**# hurts or something hahahaha.

Caption: Okay, Matty Barnes. Thanks for showing me you don't have four rings on your hand.

LA guy- yeah, at least those of us who can't tell the difference between 'nike commercial editing magic' and 'what is actually going on'

from the later group, i would suggest that the clip being reproduced is probaly not edited by the people at nike. if you are suggesting it is, please contact the nike legal dept, as well the all the journalists who actually submitted the real clip.

i might suggest that the next time you want to make a point about 'perception vs reality', you try to familiarize yourself with reality. Heck, once you do so, even if you never make it back to this blog, I think you will still find it worth while.

johnny- lateral thinking is awesome. some girls think sexy.but fish still owns y'all.

FCM- what dya think?

usedtocare - thank you for your feedback. but to clarify my beliefs, i'm not confusing democracy with anarchy. if it were anarchy, all comments would come up unfiltered without any person overseeing it. there's a fair number of comments that don't make the cutting room floor because of the vulgarity or offensive nature. there are also duplicate posts as well as trollers (which we recognize through IP addresses).

the thing i'm saying is to cut out certain people based on their opinions on certain things about the lakers is a very subjective thing to do. while i admit there may have been comments that get through the cracks, i do my best to make sure that doesn't happen. and when i see a mistake, i fix it.

the best rule i think posters who are concerned about the nature of the comments should continue to comment their intelligent take on things. the market place of ideas ultimately roots out extreme viewpoints and it also follows the philosophy of killing with kindness.

i don't want this to be a toxic atmosphere per se. but you have to keep in mind there are going to be times where it's inevitable some fans will have frustrations over things going on with the team. i hope everyone recognizes there's a huge difference in that.

as always, if you want to air out any thoughts or have any other questions, i'll always respond.

MM

Wesjoe- I found ‘Jason and the Argonauts, I’m downloading ‘the 7th voyage of Sinbad, and I’m also downloading Sergio leone’s ‘El Colosso de Rodes.”

All look like good stuff, I’m glad I looked for them. Thanks much.

FCM- thank you for listening. I will try to be a voice of interestingness for the blog as along as i can. I do thnk I lost a few comments from here to there, though, but i can move

Appreciate the clarification, but I've seen too much quality swallowed up by the sheer volume of idiots. Killing with kindness might be a bit naive.. Give me a benign dictator with a wise finger on the delete key.. If you want an extraordinary party, you only invite extraordinary guests..

my comments about posting 'luke sucks' in 155 consecutive comments seem to have been dismissed? is that not a cool thing to do"?

Posted by Curry

DJ WRITES:

***Very tiring to keep hearing about Kobe going 12-30. If he makes 3 more, he's at 15-30, which is great. Why aren't we complaining about Drew going 1-5 from 3 feet!***

----------------------------------------------------

Because basketball is a rhythm game. When you shoot and you're not in rhythm, it's difficult to make the shot, even if it's from...

...3 feet.

Posted by: Curry |
################
Didn't affect Bulls Championship teams with MJ...Oh, thats because they had role players who could hit an open shot when their time came.
Can't tell you how I use to hate those Bulls teams, I could never understand how players could get so wide open. Now I realize it's the Triangle offense.
The Lakers get more than their fair share of open shots but just can't close the deal. If they could just hit 45% of them all these close game loses would be wins.
Curry you are truly a Kobe Hater and the rhythm argument is weak, the Lakers need to be able to hit an open shot and if they don't, you'll have more "Kobe's Fault" material.

phred - some of your comments were inappropriate so they didn't go through. you usually have good comments so no worries.

mm

usedtocare - well i won't be naieve believe me. if i have to be a dictator i will, but i'm trying to see if it's not necessary. when people say offensive things on the game chat, i ban them without any questions.

i'm just trying to set a tone that i want to work with everyone not against them.

MM

FCM- could you tell me which comments were innapropropriate? And what i could do to make them appropriate? Cause i think that would be nice.

Posted by: phred

my comments about posting 'luke sucks' in 155 consecutive comments seem to have been dismissed? is that not a cool thing to do"?
######

Give it a rest phred, you're not funny, and your need for attention is rather tedious.
You're not going to stop bloggers like me from speaking my mind as to what I perceive.

I've been blogging for years now, and though my handle is Troll Man, those who read my post understand that moniker is tongue-in-cheek.

My latest rant, besides chastising "Kobe Haters" is

GASOL IS THE CANCER

Now you take exception which is your perogative, but it is rather ridiculous and foolish to petition MM for censorship.

I will tell you why I Think Pau is a becoming a cancer, and by cancer I mean the definition "an evil influence that spreads dangerously"

It starts with little comments like "now I hope we can get back to playing basketball"
then builds into, "I'm used to an inside out game"

Subtle comments like these fester in the locker room causing rifts that can tear a team apart. Just look what happens in this blog on a daily basis.

First of all, Gasol is not Shaq. The Lakers played inside-out ball when we had the MDE in the middle.
Gasol is tall but not a physical presence, he can't hold onto the ball, and his floaters aren't floating into the rim. If anything, Bynum is a better choice for the inside out game, unfortunately Drew is not progessing as fast as anyone had hoped he would.

I would like Faux (whoever came up with that LOL) Gasol to tell us more about that inside-out game that was so successful in Memphis and maybe he could mention all the teams in the league today that has an inside-out offense.
No, your Spanish team doesn't count.

Moral of story, when you're playing weak, best not to speak.

Jon K ... I'm loving that mamba pride ... say it with me, I'm purple, gold and proud ... lol

DJ all excellent posts

justanothermambafan ... old age is catching up with me, I'm trying to reach black mamba status at my craft (programming) ... lol, yeah an impossible feat but one we should all aspire for ... so you're going to have to share sheriff duties with me ... so when the haters come mean mugging the blog, make sure you mug 'em back

haters ... we see you baby ... and we're so looking forward to putting a beat down on all of y'all

purple n gold nation ... we got this, don't stress it ... kobe won't lead us astray ... like really the last time we had a team with talent + kobe that didn't win it was 2004 and 2008, the former was due to a malone injury and the latter was just the mean weenies taking advantage of a young squad ... we're going to repeat (by God's grace, apologies to the atheist, just call me stupid in ya mind and move on lol) but if you want less anxiety next season, start hoping PJ calls it quits after this season ... less bumps = less fun though, so be careful what you wish for

peace y'all ... except the haters ... sociopath-24 umm umm u ain't even worth my saliva dude ... bet ya heart skipped a beat at yet another laker fan that knows ya screen name ... enjoy ya 5 mins of fame dude, u ain't d first attention grabbing hater on here and u won't be d last ... lmao @ ya hustle though


Subtle comments like these fester in the locker room causing rifts that can tear a team apart. Just look what happens in this blog on a daily basis.

Posted by: Troll Man | March 09, 2010 at 01:50 AM


Indeed. Not only in the locker room or in this blog, but pick your workplace.
I think this is the problem the Lakers are having.
I don't think it's Gasol being soft or Fish being older/slower or Kobe being a ball hog or Farmer or Brown or Ron all missing shots or Luke missing.

There is something wrong with the team in their heads, as in, they are tense and pressing and try to make a shot when you're tense, from any distance. They seem to not be having fun and not happy, afraid to make a mistake.

I think the difference between this years Lakers and last years is a camaraderie, a joy of being together.

Is Gasol the aforementioned cancer? I don't know. I think it's probably more a combination of comments from various teammates and attitudes that have developed this season. I would guess that they all should share the blame, including PJ.

There are lots of comments on the blog blaming different players, but I don't think that's the problem. I don't think you can blame any one or two players. Whether the problem stems from Kobes too many shots or not doesn't much matter at this point. If hard feelings have developed they need to figure out a way to overcome them.

This is a team mental problem and it's now in their heads.

I think that if they can get the mental issues resolved and find a way to like each other, to enjoy playing together and lighten up the tenseness they will be fine, the shots will start falling and they won't need last second shots to win.

If they can't get these issues resolved then there will be no rings this year.

"GASOL IS THE CANCER....

I will tell you why I Think Pau is a becoming a cancer, and by cancer I mean the definition "an evil influence that spreads dangerously"

It starts with little comments like "now I hope we can get back to playing basketball"
then builds into, "I'm used to an inside out game".............

Moral of story, when you're playing weak, best not to speak.

Posted by: Troll Man"


Thank God for Troll Man! These are the issues I was thinking about Pau. I completely agree with you on this one Sir!!!

I'm sure you don't/ haven't heard of me, cause I seldom post here(but I'm an avid reader since 2008). And I seldom rant about Laker players. But here are parts of what I posted on previous threads re: Pau; might be becoming a cancer.

_____________REPOST_____________
".............Another thing, I usually to not call out Laker players, but Gasol has been having issues with Kobe. I wonder why Gasol continues to talk like this. I mean, he wasn't talking like this last year- pre ring. It led me to thinking that Gasol may want to win a regular season MVP award. Kobe has 7 assists on this game(excluding missed shots by teammates), and yet, he calls out Kobe once more?!!! what the hell is he thinking??????

Clearly, Gasol has some issues. I hate to say this, but I'm beginning to think that Gasol might be the cancer of this team.

Just to add, Gasol hasn't consistently led his Grizz to the playoffs every year when he was the MAIN MAN. More so, he CANNOT EVEN WIN A SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME, BEING THE 'LEADER' OF HIS TEAM. Although I must admit, he is a very very good complimentary player when he plays hard. (i know, LAL went 4-1 went Kobe was out, BUT PLEASE!!!! don't compare 4-1 to what Kobe has accomplished as a leader. it wont make sense.)

Hope Gasol will try to realize he should adapt to Kobe, not the other way around. Gasol's time as a leader was done, it's proven he can't carry a team. He should stop talking non-sense. He is pissing me off.

-jov"

Pau should shut up and play hard ball.

‘you puny human gnats can be more annoying than I had supposed! It is not my intention to harm any being! But in order to appease my hunger for more titles, I warn you that if you continue to oppose me, I will erase you with a single stroke!’Posted by: phred | March 08, 2010 at 07:46 PM

IT’S CLOBBERING TIME!!!!

Caption 1: "Seriously, kid?!!! I've got bigger fish to fry." (Kobe's favorite line for nemesis Raja Bell, Stephen Jackson and now Matt Barnes.

Caption 2: "Who is the kid???"

Black Mamba, nuff said. Go Lakers!!!

Sorry.

Caption 2 should read: "Who is this kid???"

Have a great day family, keep the faith!!!

**** AND THE WINNER OF THE CAPTION IS: *****
(YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9nptjUs9FM
CAN’T TOUCH MAMBA to tune CAN’T TOUCH THIS BY MC HAMMER
Every time you see me, that Kobe just so hype, I'm dope on the floor & magic when in flight
Now why would I ever stop doing this , With others going for the ring they seem to always miss
I toured around the world but still I Love LA It's Mamba, go Mamba, MC Mamba, Yo Mamba and the rest can’t even play
(CHORUS)
Can't touch this, unh, unh, unh, unh, unh, Can't touch this
I told you, can't touch this, unh unh unh unh unh unh
Why you standing there Barnes, can't touch this, unh unh unh uhn unh
Yo sound the bell school is in sucker ,, can't touch this unh unh unh unh unh
Too hype can't touch this,unh unh unh unh unh unh
Get me outta here, you ca Break it down!
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Stop! Mamba time!

oh heck, my comments about being censored are not quite getting cleared, and i am no longer allowed to contradict myself. Do I contradict myself? Very well, i contradict myself. I am large, i contain multitudes.Posted by: phred | March 08, 2010 at 11:12 PM
ROFLMFAO!! PLEASE, PLEASE STOP IT!! HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA!!!

as always, if you want to air out any thoughts or have any other questions, i'll always respond.Posted by: Mark Medina | March 09, 2010 at 12:15 AM
YOU DON'T HAVE TO! You’re the Blog God your word is Law. With great power comes great responsibility.

Moral of story, when you're playing weak, best not to speak.
Posted by: Troll Man | March 09, 2010 at 01:50 AM

Troll or not...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!

Good morning,

Finally back in LA, after an east coast swing for my mom's 90th birthday. The Lakers' struggles are just as evident from afar as they are here in the purple & gold bubble. The PTI conventional wisdom that the Lakers will be fine still seems at odds with reality.

But before I get into that, a brief insight to how lucky we Lakers fans really are. There was one day last week where the local paper of record (the Inquirer) devoted two full pages to the miserable condition of the Philadelphia 76ers. One columnist even went so far as to beg the franchise to put coach Eddie Jordan out of his misery as a humanitarian gesture. Yes, as crazy as things are here at the top of the NBA, they are significantly worse at the bottom.

Even my mom was horrified at how poorly the Lakers played in Miami the other night. You don't have to be a student of the game to observe lack of resolve and ineptness of teamwork. And the haters who want to blame Kobe for everything need to be disregarded because of what they are: haters.

Not only has most of the team merely been going through the motions; they aren't even going through the right motions. Only Kobe and Thriller have been playing committed basketball. What I saw in the nationally televised games was a complete breakdown of team work and on-the-court discipline. This is not how a team should be performing as the regular season grinds to an end.

If any one player should be singled out, it is Pau Gasol. The phrase "finesse player" is a euphemism for "wuss." I know that sounds harsh, put it is disheartening to see a player fold every time he is physically challenged. The flagrant 1 he was called on the other night was embarrassing to watch; he hits like a girl. Just man-up and play the other guy physical, Pau.

Inside the bubble, the conventional wisdom is that the other teams psych themselves up to play the Lakers. From afar, it looks like none of the other teams even respect the defending champions.

If the Lakers truly have the ability to "switch it on," the time is now. I'm not a nay-sayer. Far from it. I love my team. Their own lack of confidence in themselves can not be ignored. Putting together a string of solid games is a "must." Attaining back-to-back trophies is still a hope. But it will fade quickly if things don't change in a hurry. Go Lakers!

Caption: Ice Ice Baby.

Video caption: "Mr. Bryant, Mr. Bryant...would you PLEASE autograph this for me...sir?"

As for the question of who/what to censor, MM has reasonable guidelines from his employer and a reasonable attitude as well. But the ultimate determinants of the quality of this blog are we posters. This becomes a mud-wrestling bog rather than a blog only if we posters choose to get in the mud with someone. If you don't approve of the way certain posters are venting their own unresolved hostilities, don't respond. Sooner or later, they'll get the message.

This blog is blessed with an unusually high number of people who both love the Lakers and are exceptionally good writers. Some also have interesting backgrounds and life experiences that they weave into their comments. It's a moveable feast. So enjoy.

I'm the MAMBA. I fear no mortal man.

{Lakers Secret Agent Jon K. Investigating The Culinary Delights Of Northeast Ohio As The First Snow Melt Reveals A Landscape Characterized By Two Colors--Gray And Brown--And Two Colors Alone}

So, this has little to do with basketball at all, but I'd thought I'd share it anyways.

Yesterday I was driving through Downtown Akron, which is actually a quaint downtown area for a small city. They're trying to revitalize it and are doing a decent job, all things considered. I parked and decided to walk around the ghost town streets and happened upon a sushi bar.

I looked over the menu and saw they had salmon roe and were voted best sushi restaurant in the Akron/Canton area. Salmon roe isn't common here. The menus are very conservative and based on things like cooked eel and California rolls and such.

Salmon roe being my favorite sushi, I decided to eat.

The restaurant was serene and nicely decorated. As I looked over the menu, I noticed that they had a special on uni. Uni, as you may well know, is the male roe of sea urchin... and my second favorite sushi.

While having the consistency of snot, it still has an intriguing, subtle and mild flavor that I find to be sublime. I love it and hadn't seen it before in Ohio. I asked, "Is the uni fresh?"

The sushi chef--who appeared to be native Japanese--said, "Oh, yes! Very, VERY fresh."

"Well, I'll please have an order of uni then."

For me, eating sushi is a kind of meditative experience. I generally tend to eat food too quickly, to engorge myself, but not so with sushi. I slowly savor and consider every bite. It's a gentle experience.

As my plate was presented to me, I looked upon the display with a quiet admiration, almost lovingly. In the soft silence of the empty restaurant, I deliberately clutched a piece of uni with my chopsticks and put the piece in my mouth, everpresent in the moment.

Time Stopped.

Flashback: Suddenly I was back in Venice, California at a sushi restaurant of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. My Japanese-American friend was many years ago first introducing me to uni. His words at that moment rattled through my brain as if suspended in an echo chamber, "It's REALLY important that the uni be fresh when you order it, okay? TRUST ME on this."

I clicked back to Akron's best sushi restaurant, March 2010. Instead of the gentle, subtle flavor I had known for years as "uni", my mouth was exploding with a flavor I can only describe as an over-flowing kitty litter box on a hot, stagnant, musty summer's day. Every millimeter of the inside of my mouth burned with the taste of a combination of cat feces and cat urine. My body reeled.

I somehow choked the sushi down and sat there, shaken for an instant before guzzling down a beer as if it were the only antidote to a quick-acting poison.

Needless to say, I didn't eat the second piece of sushi.

That moment is now forever tattooed upon my brain.

Yeah...

Moral Of The Story: If you like chicken wings or pierogies, hey, order away when you're in Ohio, but you may want to reconsider before ordering the uni.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Corner J - You're exactly on point. I'm simply playing traffic cop here.

MM

Also - a new post should be up fairly soon. Just getting edited right now, so if you had planned on writing something you wanted up in the latest blog, it should be there in a matter of minutes.

MM

Ladies & Gents, we have a Psyched Laker Girl sighting!
Psych, Psych, Clap, Clap, Clap Clap Clap

LA Guy,

You are missing something that is actually the important thing of the exchange. The important part is Kobe didn't flinch. In exactly the same situation, you would have flinched, fell back and tripped over your own two feet. And wound up on you butt right there in front of a national audience.

Just like the rest of us.

Barnes had already been overly aggressive towards Kobe (or you) at that point. There is no way a normal human being would have anticipated that the pass was over his shoulder (from right to left, past Kobe's face, in Kobe's perspective -- just like the 3D analysis CLEARLY shows).

Just to be safe, especially in the case where Barnes' cross-face, over-the-shoulder pass went errant (a HIGH possibility for a journeyman, no-name, nobody, NBA scrub of a player), every one else on the planet would have flinched. Some, would have flinched, then punched the guy right out.

He could have claimed later, while picking up his teeth, that he was, "only faking a pass over the shoulder, and that he wasn't going to hit anyone in the face!"

Those other video perspectives clearly shows the ball within four inches of Kobe's face (which is the very point you hang your hat on, saying a direct, towards Kobe's face action would have actually touched his nose). That distance is below the margin for error for normal humans to flinch.

Every play that game Beatle Bash? Even when you KNOW a punch is coming, people flinch. All the time.

Kobe is a G.

--FEARless

The caption should be, "I was hoping that you hit me, then I woulda gotten a free punch!"

Barnes' subtle slight of hand is pro'lly the reason he isn't suspended. But, that does in no way diminish the mental toughness on display by one Kobe Bean Bryant.

Besides, playground rules stipulate that if a guy doesn't flinch, you either have to go through with it and hit him, or be branded as a punk. Just like a gunslinger who draws his weapon and doesn't fire.

Could you imagine the juice Barnes' would have gotten had Kobe made any reaction at all? Instead, he looks like a blowhard -- all bark and no bite. Of COURSE he was all respectful after the game.

Read, "The Art of War." This was Barnes' attempt as saving face.

--FEARless

THE LAKERS REGULAR SEASON RELOADED
All aboard let’s try this again, Let’s start with the Raptors and get the 1st win
3 losses in a row is more than enough, The Lakers are made of sterner stuff
Time to shake off regular season blues, not many more games can we afford to lose
Even though we play for the ring, We still need to finish this regular season thing
Playoff time is almost here, It’s time to start clicking & kicking it into gear
Bynum this should be your game Gosh, they tried to trade you for Chris Bosh
OK Lakers it’s time to close ranks, it’s either that or we go in the tank
Yeah you’re the Lakers & all that, but some folks aren’t impressed, just ask Matt
Barnes that is, the Magic Thug, who couldn’t even make the Mamba shrug.
Mamba always has his playoff face, the rest of you need to get on the case.
You’re Lakers & you’re targets you know, you get a teams best wherever you go
Call them the soft Lakers, one thing you forgot, They’re freaking Lakers & thug you are not

"Pau should shut up and play hard ball."

Posted by: jovbatz-of-the-philippines-home-of-manny-pacquiao | March 09, 2010 at 05:26 AM

That is the new mantra!

--FEARless

Barnes should get suspended for it. That was taunting in the worsts sense.


The thing that concerns me, no one in Kobe's teammates went after Barnes, Lakers are not united. They pretty much do nor care about their Leader. The team lets Kobe go to war on his own. Bad, bad, bad!

Kobe is the CEO, President and GM of this Lakers lineup.


Kobe is the Leader of this team. He is to be blame for what is happening to the Lakers right now. No excuses. Take the blame and correct yourself. Take the responsiblity of being the Leader of this team.


Especially after playing dominant games without Kobe. Kobe comes back and it all falls apart. THIS IS CLEAR CUT PROBLEM OF LEADERSHIP, not basketball.


" can someone get their kid off the court??"

Here is my theory.


Team played well without Kobe.


Kobe was jealous, insecure, mad, embarrassed by how the team played so well without him. Kobe instead of appreciating how well his teammates are doing without him, Kobe critizes his teammates for finally playing with some URGENCY when he is not around.


What kind of a Leader is this? Kobe wants everything to evolve around him. No aprreciation for his teammates for playing so well and keeping the W coming and maintaing the standings.

Kobe came back, you can see in his face, how mad he is, how Laker fans were enjoying the Lakers ganme without him!!!!


Leadership!!!

Chemistry destroyed by Kobe BryantP. Played mad at his teammates and it showed. Lakers starts loosing with Kobe, Kobe gets really mad at his teammates.


This is not about basketball anymore...


This is about Kobe's self-centeredness and his LACK of REAL LEADERSHIP.


The only thing that can beat the Lakers this year is KOBE BEAN BRYANT!!! And he is doing it in very UGLY fashion.

To fix the problem.


Kobe has had a lot to say in tgheir open forum meeting. What??? GHE should have just ask questions, as a Leader of wht is wrong. Why are we playing like this, tell me and I will help and make sure we correct it what evert it is!!!


But NO, NO, NO!!!!


What did Kobe do? What did Kobe say?


He was MAD at his teammates for loosing and not playing well.


Read, "The Art of War." Posted by: FEARless | March 09, 2010 at 08:45 AM
Great book fearless. Did you know it is suggested reading for all Marine Officers. Also Wesley Snipes wasn't to shabby in The Art of War the film. Yea I know it's not from the book Lol!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8xEQdWQCho

To REALLY fix the problem!!!


Kobe should apologize to his teammates sincerely and it should start with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.


If Kobe wants the RINGS he desires, he should.



Phred - explain to me what "Nike editing magic" went on in that commercial? Please, tell me what they did? The whole thing is just camera angle and perspective.

The rest of you are just hilarious in your Kobe worship. You guys are really claiming that Kobe is harder than all other people on Earth? I mean, seriously, you actually say that? I'm sorry, but that's just laughable. I wouldn't call LA the toughest city out there, but I could grab a couple hundred thousand people off the streets here that have proven in their lives that they are MUCH tougher characters than Kobe Bryant. Heck, I played linebacker in college, which by itself requires more actual toughness than anything Kobe Bryant's done. Kobe is a fantastic athlete and one of the best players in the NBA, but you Kobe fan boys are really going way over the top with the worshipful stuff. What about his life actually makes you think he's any kind of tough character at all? Has he ever done anything physical, on the court or off, other than play tough D and occasionally cheap-shot an opposing player with an elbow?

Kobe: Whatcha gonna do, punk?? Yeah..... that's what I thought.

>>>23,24,&29 not bad numbers for a starting trio. I'll tell you guys I have not
>>>seen a trade work like this since the gasol trade that shifted the power in the
>>>west. Dallas has got it going.

YEAH. Because if Dallas got really hot and had a 60 win team, then they'd DEFINITELY win the championship...

Oh, wait. They already did that and went down like the titanic.

AND IF THEY HAD 67 WINS AND THE BEST RECORD IN THE LEAGUE, THEN THEY WOULD SWEEP THEIR WAY THROUGH THE PLAYOFFS!!!

oh, wait.

They had a 67 win season and the best record in the league, AND LOST TO AN 8 SEED.

Face it. Dallas sucks. They'll be watching the Lakers play in the finals, just like the Clippers will be.

CornerJ,

>>>Video caption: "Mr. Bryant, Mr. Bryant...would you PLEASE autograph this for me...sir?"

LMAO. I like this one best.

Barnes: "SEE, Spalding IS the offical ball of the NBA!"

Bryant: "Can we get a five second violation or what?"

What about his life actually makes you think he's any kind of tough character at all? Has he ever done anything physical, on the court or off, other than play tough D and occasionally cheap-shot an opposing player with an elbow? Posted by: LA Guy | March 09, 2010 at 09:43 AM

You mean besides the fact he has a black belt in Jeet Kune Do the art developed by Bruce Lee. An art that routinely consist of full contact practice and none of this silly kata crap where just by being proficient in learning some moves you can receive a Black belt without actually haven't sparreed full contact once. I think Kobe would take about 2 seconds to you knock you out Mr Linebacker LA guy.

Mamba24(Larry)

Wow Mamba. First of all, you should stop believing everything you read on the internet. Kobe isn't a black belt. I'd love to see you back that one up. I'm guessing that Kobe's trained a tiny bit in it for balance and sensitivity, hasn't actually fought anyone at all, and is miles from a black belt in anything. Is that all you have to prove his "tough character" image? Keep sipping on the Kool-Aid.

Enough of this about "this is a 2D image." It doesn't matter if his face was tilted a little bit to the right. Kobe's eyes were still looking straight at Barnes, and the ball was VERY close to his face.

For those of you who THINK that it is NORMAL for Kobe NOT to flinch, you guys are full of it. If that happened to you, you would be crying to your mommy.

FEARless,
Thanks. We all wanted Pau to stop whining, and stop him from becoming the 'cancer' we don't want him to become.

CornerJ,
re: video caption, "Mr. Bryant, Mr. Bryant...would you PLEASE autograph this for me...sir?" THIS IS A GAME WINNER ala KB24.

Mamba24,
"What about his life actually makes you think he's any kind of tough character at all? Has he ever done anything physical, on the court or off, other than play tough D and occasionally cheap-shot an opposing player with an elbow? Posted by: LA Guy | March 09, 2010 at 09:43 AM

You mean besides the fact he has a black belt in Jeet Kune Do the art developed by Bruce Lee. An art that routinely consist of full contact practice and none of this silly kata crap where just by being proficient in learning some moves you can receive a Black belt without actually haven't sparreed full contact once. I think Kobe would take about 2 seconds to you knock you out Mr Linebacker LA guy.

Mamba24(Larry)" PRICELESS.

LAKERS ALL DAY!!!


-jovbatz

Could you do that again? I blinked...


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