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Dissecting Kobe Bryant's aggressive play in Lakers' 101-94 victory over Thunder

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Time and again, Kobe Bryant's expressions told the whole story.

He clenched his teeth after nailing a contested jumper. He scolded and then encouraged Pau Gasol after bobbling a pass. He barked orders to Ron Artest on where to move within the offense. And he let out grunts as he attacked the rim with a verve that harks back to his young years.

The Lakers' 101-94 victory Monday night over the Oklahoma City Thunder featured Bryant scoring 21 points on seven-for-12 shooting, dishing out seven assists and hauling down five rebounds with a perfectly nuanced method. He forced Thunder defenders to take his outside shot seriously. He burned the OKC frontline for allowing him to drive the lane. He exploited mismatches by setting up various teammates, including Gasol (21 points), Lamar Odom (16 points), Derek Fisher (season-high 15 points), Andrew Bynum (10) and Artest (seven points).

"He got the right guys going," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant.

Below the jump, I document how.

8:14 - 8:03, First quarter

After Lakers center Bynum grabbed a rebound of Russell Westbrook's missed seven-footer, Fisher ran the ball up the floor. He fired a cross-court pass to Gasol, who pulled up for a set shot from just outside the lane. Bryant sneaked inside past OKC center Nenad Krstic and grabbed the rebound with a one-hand extension. Instead of settling for a contested shot in traffic, Bryant posted up on the near baseline and positioned himself so he could see the floor. Bynum cut across the lane, causing Bryant to dart a quick pass inside. Bynum then converted a thunderous dunk to give the Lakers a 9-6 lead. Remarked TNT analyst Mike Fratello: "Did Kobe push off somebody's shoulders or something in getting that one? I haven't seen him jump that high in a while."

5:20 - 5:13, Second quarter

After Bryant swung the ball to Artest on the near side, James Harden marked him while Nick Collison cut off the baseline. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant sagged back so that Gasol couldn't receive an easy look inside. That left Bryant open at the top of the key. After Artest kicked the ball out to Bryant, Durant confronted him up top. With a simple head fake and jab step, Bryant dribbled left and pulled up for a 21-footer. The slight hesitation threw Durant off guard, giving Bryant enough space to swish the shot, giving the Lakers a 41-39 lead with 5:13 remaining. Said TNT analyst Steve Kerr: "A mistake by Durant defensively. ... You can't chase Kobe at the three-point line. Let him make some out there. Once he puts it on the floor and is down inside, he's almost automatic."

3:45 - 3:40, Second quarter

With Bryant at the top of the key, Bynum set a pick on Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha, allowing Bryant to drive the lane and weave between defenders as if he were driving around traffic cones. He dribbled to his left after Westbrook confronted him on the strong side and then attempted a runner. Sefolosha blocked the shot from behind, but Bryant retrieved the ball. He then pump-faked twice before shooting over Durant, causing him to go off balance and create contact.

2:15 - 1:54, second quarter

This play truly illustrated how effective ball movement creates offensive opportunities, and Bryant's court vision allowed him to make the right reads on a dime. A swing pass from Artest to  Odom to Bryant resulted in Gasol's setting a pick on the near side on Sefolosha. Bryant drove right around Gasol, met Durant at the free-throw line and weaved through the Durant-Sefolosha double team with a spin move into the lane. Durant, Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka collapsed on Bryant in the paint, leaving Gasol open on the near side. Bryant hurled the ball over his left shoulder to Gasol, who converted an open one-handed dunk, giving the Lakers a 52-49 lead.

1:41 - 1:27, Second quarter

After Bryant  rebounded Durant's missed jumper, he directed the offense only to be met by Sefolosha at the left block. After Bryant dribbled between his legs and switched to his right,  Odom and Gasol left the paint to create an open lane for him as all of OKC's defenders marked the front line. Bryant needed only one dribble to his right to beat Sefolosha. As Ibaka and Krstic flooded the lane, Bryant exploded to the rim for a two-handed jam that harked back to images when he wore No. 8.

:29 - 22, Second quarter

Giving the Thunder little time to properly set up on defense, Gasol set a high pick on Sefolosha for Bryant. Sefolosha cut through the screen and Westbrook picked him up on help defense on the left block. Gasol set another screen on Sefolosha on his left side, but with Westbrook marking Fisher on the perimeter, Ibaka guarding Odom along the baseline and Durant keeping an eye on Artest on the near side, Bryant had an open lane to drive. Sefolosha denied him penetration, however, and OKC's defense regrouped by flooding the paint. Instead, Bryant stepped back at the top of the key, drove left into the middle and finished with a right-handed layup, widening the Lakers' lead to 58-53.

9:45 - 9:38, Third quarter

Out in transition, Bryant gained leverage on Sefolosha and had enough space to drive toward the left part of the lane. As he demonstrated all night, however, Sefolosha caught up to Bryant just before Collison met him with a double team. No matter. In midair, Bryant fired a cross-court pass to the near side corner to Fisher, whose three-pointer gave the Lakers a 63-59 advantage.

4:45 - 5:01 third quarter

This sequence epitomized how crucial it was to communicate and play help defense, an ingredient that didn't necessarily stop Westbrook (32 points) and Durant (24) from scoring, but an approach that helped minimize the damage. After Durant set a pick on Bryant's left, Artest immediately picked up Westbrook. That denied Westbrook dribble penetration on the perimeter. As soon as Durant received a pass at the top of the key, he was met with a double team from Bryant and Artest. That opened up Westbrook on the far side for an open pass, but Artest swiped the ball from him as soon as he drove the lane.

Bryant picked up the loose ball and veered to the far-side corner since OKC immediately hustled back on defense. With Harden picking him up, Bryant posted on him, pump faked three times and then elevated for a fall-away jumper. The shot gave the Lakers a 76-61 lead.

6:35 - 6:28, Fourth quarter

After receiving a pass from Artest on the near side, Bryant squared up against Harden. In triple-threat position, Bryant jab stepped, swung the ball from side to side near his ankles, pump faked right, dribbled left and then nailed a 16-foot jumper. The shot prompted Bryant to clench his teeth and widened the gap to 94-85.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant hangs on the rim after dunking against the Thunder in the second quarter Monday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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Diandra- seriously? I was a 'Zona fan back then. I remember Bibby and Dickerson and Miles Simon. Great college team. Then Luke Walton and Gilbert Arenas and Jefferson and Jason Gardiner. Great teams.


Posted by: phred | January 18, 2011 at 06:59 PM

I am sorry, I don't know what Zona is? Arizona?
I am talking about the Vancouver Grizzles... I met Bibby and Dickerson when they played in Vancouver.

Michael Dickerson was one of the best players I had ever seen, I am surprised he didn't go further in the league. He had some Derek Fisher shots up his sleeve. Aka .3 seconds left on the clock to get a shot to beat the nets 108-106 in triple over time aka the best game I had ever been to.

Anyway, this is a Lakers blog.

oooooh. Miami lost 4 games in a row. No chance they'll ever win the championship now (or at least that's what people were saying about the Lakers when they lost 4 in a row).

oooooh. Miami lost 4 games in a row. No chance they'll ever win the championship now (or at least that's what people were saying about the Lakers when they lost 4 in a row).

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | January 18, 2011 at 07:23 PM
-
RCOTD!!!!!!!!!

I was just going to post about the Heat losing. I was watching the game and it was a pretty good game. As I was watching Bibby I was thinking about how he may or may not fit in with the Lakers. I think he is pretty much at the end of his career so...

whats the point in bringing in someone who is going to retire in a few years? Might as well get someone young and athletic.


Also: Kobe Bryant is still the best player in the league. Do you want to know why? He is realizing his body isn't where it used to be, yet he is still aggressive only in a different manner. Since messing up at the beginning of the season with a low shooting percentage he is taking over by passing the ball and setting up his players, and yet he is STILL one of the top 5 scorers in the league.

Also: Kobe Bryant is still the best player in the league. Do you want to know why? He is realizing his body isn't where it used to be, yet he is still aggressive only in a different manner. Since messing up at the beginning of the season with a low shooting percentage he is taking over by passing the ball and setting up his players, and yet he is STILL one of the top 5 scorers in the league.

Posted by: Diandra | January 18, 2011 at 07:32 PM
=====

Wise men seek you.

Super-friends lose 4 in a row... Lets hope it becomes 5...6... and so forth!! :)

Mamba is the BOMB to end all BOMBs,

G O A T
Forever,

BandWagon!!!

we all should give fish his prop for his play.however
his defense still leaves a lots to be desired.keep up
the good work fish,bring this type of energy every night.

Miami is going to really struggle if they are not 100% healthy, they just looked horrible at times. ESPN will show these highlights very late in the Sportscenter broadcast and then move on because they lost, and somewhere Tim Legler is crying tears of frustration.

The Heatless and Princess Jaime SUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!

HA,HA,HA,

KARMA in YO Face!

BandWagon!!!


Dude...an OLD toothless DOG gets up every now and Then. All the HATERS on the HEAT, it's not like Lakers had not LOSS 4 games in a ROW.

Mr Laker...DUDE Kobe's NO GOAT, put DOWN the PIPE.

GO HEAT

888- Dude are you on Fish PAYROLL? I'm a Fish supporter, you don't EXPECT MUCH...you don't GET MUCH.

888- Dude are you on Fish PAYROLL? I'm a Fish supporter, you don't EXPECT MUCH...you don't GET MUCH.

Posted by: G.money | January 18, 2011 at 08:00 PM
===

No? That's an interesting point of view. I guess you don't like championships.

Kobe almost lost the Lakers the game towards the end trying to be mucho. His ego kicked in I guess.

888- No...matter of FACT I do love Championships. I was downtown LA at all the SHOW TIME events. That's why MAGIC is the GREATEST Laker EVER.

"For those that like and appreciate Derek Fisher, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't like Fish, no explanation is possible."

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | January 18, 2011 at 07:16 PM

_________

As for Miami, who really cares? They will not win this season until they upgrade their roster with a real PF and a center. It's obvious those guys LBJ, DW & CB - the mega-overpaid weakest link in that trio - that they need a little more help. I often wonder if there is resentment from the members of that team against Bosh and his big dollar sucking salary. Hmmmm.
_____

Kobe - what do you expect from a guy who is in the twilight of his career and still uses words like punked, stink. Several F-Bombs. "shaving points" and just doing our job when describing HIS team's play? I'm with Diandra and others that Kobe is beginning to realize that it’s possible to extend his career by becoming more of a facilitator rather than the primary scoring option on the team. Personally, it's the part of his game I've been patiently waiting for. After his contract expires and the Triangle is still in play, he just might be the perfect PG for the system at that stage of his career. Who knows? Dang, I miss those "Magic" games!

Not too long ago, I was watching the Pacers play the Spurs in Indiana. Pacer broadcaster and former NBA player said if he could change any one rule in today's NBA, he would abolish the 3 point shot.

An interesting idea. While I don't agree, I can see a lot of reasons why he said it. The 3 point shot tempts players like a siren's song. How many times do we see players turn down an open 20 footer to step back behind the arc and hoist an even longer shot. And miss! Or, my favorite, when a player drives the rack and instead of trying to finish strong at the rim, he'll kick it way back to the arc for one of his teammates to shoot a 3.

Miami and Atlanta went a combined 14-61 from 3 tonight. 23%. Roughly 35% of the total shots taken in that game were 3's. Too many players who shouldn't be taken threes are heisting them up like there's no tomorrow. There's no doubt that the 3 pointer brings a lot of excitement to the sport, but it also skews the way the game is played today.

Oops, I forgot to mention the Pacer broadcaster's name in my previous comment. It was Quinn Buckner. I hate when that happens!!

On the subject of this thread, I thought Kobe was brilliant last night. He resisted the temptation of getting into a shootout with Westbrook and shot a very efficient 7-12 from the field. He got into the lane and facilitated the offense. I thought it was a throwback to the Shaq years when Kobe was the primary initiator of the offense. Sort of the Mamba going back to his roots.

LRob - These are 3 of the top 10 Movie Songs...Name the movie that goes with the song...

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfY67_qkgOs
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFuJW5Bdbe4
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe9PSliDG4M

Posted by: LEWSTRS | January 18, 2011 at 05:13 PM
----------------
Lew - I didn't see the first post and just read the re-post. It's a good thing I didn't see it cuz I'm definitely stumped....

Queen Bohemian Rhapsody is from Wayne's World. But I don't know the movies for Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss A Thing or Goo Goo Dolls - Iris. Enlighten me....and they better be good movies...j/k...lol.

Do I get any extra credit for knowing they came out in 98?

The lakers victory over the thunder was one of the biggest of the season because as the defending champs they had to show a rising team that their the champs for a reason and that they earned their title with hard work. Kobe especially showed Durant and Westbrook with his calm yet explosive game why he is the best player in the league and that its going to be awhile before they gets their.

I Don't Want to Miss A Thing or Goo Goo Dolls - Iris. Enlighten me....and they better be good movies...j/k...lol.

Do I get any extra credit for knowing they came out in 98?


Are you serious??
Armageddon.. (sp?) and city of angels I think.

More reasons to dislike the Heat....

Now, LeBrawn wants to teach our children things about fair play.

http://tinyurl.com/6dtlzjm

And Chris Botch thinks the Bull-ies tried to hurt him...

http://tinyurl.com/4sfteqc

These two need to get a grip!

I like Chris Bosh. Or I did before, no idea why he's being such a diva as of late.

Also to G.Money:
http://cdn2.knowyourmeme.com/i/000/061/954/original/Kobe-U-Mad.jpg

@MVP – Fred Snowden – another Detroiter. He put Wildcat Bball on the map. He even recruited a couple of Detroiters down there. Eric Money who went on to have a successful NBA career with the Pistons and Corniel “Connie” Norman. But they both graduated in 74 so it was probably right before you arrived.


@BronxLakerFan – playing against Tiny…sweet. What an incredible talent. He was just a blur before the knee injuries. Sam Lacey and Scott Wedman should still be sending him checks because he made those guys look good in KC.


@Lew – You’re right, the Spartans are struggling this season, but I expected the loss tonight. It’s hard to beat Illinois in Champagne. MSU usually takes its early season lumps by playing a real tough non conference schedule (they’ve already played U-Conn, Duke, Syracuse and Texas), and then peak in March. However, after two straight final fours I doubt if they can make it back this year…they’re just too small. But if anyone can get them ready for the real season in March (MVP…that’s for you :-) it’s Izzo.

As for Miami, who really cares? They will not win this season until they upgrade their roster with a real PF and a center. It's obvious those guys LBJ, DW & CB - the mega-overpaid weakest link in that trio - that they need a little more help. I often wonder if there is resentment from the members of that team against Bosh and his big dollar sucking salary. Hmmmm.
_____

Posted by: frmkt | January 18, 2011 at 08:19 PM

I'm glad you broached this, I have one thought on the matter. Zach Randolph, Z-Bo, if you will, is a free agent. And given the discretions of the next CBA, will get paid. Now, the interesting dynamic here, is that apparently Rudy Gay hates Zach Randolph, word is they don't get along at all. I was watching the Bulls game on MLK day on WGN and saw interplay between Gay and Zach. Zach had his arm around Gay, Gay said something or gave a look and Randolph backed off, who knows, I think it's an Alpha Dog type scenario.

Anyway, forget Memphis, for the conversation. Which two teams need a scoring, rebounding big to put them over the top. Figue it out yet? Oklahoma City and Washington. Oklahoma desperately, needs a big who can establish a presence in the low post, both for the good of the team, and Russell Westbrook's development. Randolph would be a nice addition to that squad, I'd still have Serge Ibaka off the bench. You'd basically match up with the Lakers, Celtics, Orlando, etc.

Washington needs a big man, that can, well, do a lot more and be more consistent than Andray Blatche. Randolph, would be great for John wall, especially in the half court. Wall needs a big, that can draw bodies and rebound like a beast. Being 30, I think, he's more {termed loosely} mature and would be a big part of Washington's future.

Michael Dickerson was one of the best players I had ever seen, I am surprised he didn't go further in the league. He had some Derek Fisher shots up his sleeve. Aka .3 seconds left on the clock to get a shot to beat the nets 108-106 in triple over time aka the best game I had ever been to.

Posted by: Diandra | January 18, 2011 at 07:23 PM
---------------
Diandra - I think Dickerson had a serious neck injury that forced him to retire. I believe he was told he'd be risking paralysis if he played. (I'm not positive, but I believe that's what happened with Dickerson).

@Diandra - thanks for having my back on the movies...lol.


@Phred - Here you go. I just love the way that harmonica opens it. Sounds as good today as back in the day!

J. Geils - Centerfold.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqDjMZKf-wg&ob=av2el

Diandra...

That link is ROTFL funny!! Good stuff!

Didn't get to see any of the last 2 games but, as always, disappointed with the L to the Clippers but, definitely not surprised...the Clippers are playing much better, of late.

Also, pleased with the bounce-back W over the Thunder. I said last week, that the Black Mamba looks like he's starting to get his legs back and his recent play is indicative of that.

Lookin' forward to tonight's game against the Mavs. Should be a competitive contest and should show where the team is at, at this point of the season.

Anyhoo, see y'all tonite on the Live Chat.

~



Let's go Ls...all the way to a 3-peat!!!!!

Diandra - I think Dickerson had a serious neck injury that forced him to retire. I believe he was told he'd be risking paralysis if he played. (I'm not positive, but I believe that's what happened with Dickerson).

============

Possibly. I know that he still lives in Vancouver and practices with the university team here to help improve their skills. I am going to figure out what happened ahaha.

@bronxlakerfan: glad you liked it :) I think I am going to start posting it everytime the trolls come out LOL

"For those that like and appreciate Derek Fisher, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't like Fish, no explanation is possible."

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | January 18, 2011 at 07:16 PM
====

Pure genius.

Leave it to a Lakers/Yankees fan who appreciates dynasties and the pieces that fit together to achieve them.

re dickerson:

"In 2009 he returned to basketball as a member of Faymasa Palenica in Spain.[7]"

Nope. But it does look like he had quite a few injuries he couldn't recover from once he wound up in Memphis, thus resulting in a pre mature recovery. Almost played for the cavs but they waved him

Such a shame.

On the topic of injuries, I don't get why fans wish injuries on opposing teams. Injuries are like the most heart breaking that that could happen to a player and an organization. Can you imagine where the clippers would be if Griffin didn't have an injury last season? They might have had Lebron because he would've wanted to play with him.

Scary thought.

Diandra | January 18, 2011 at 08:46 PM

You know that LINK is Wrong, No I'm NOT. But once the Heat are Crowned the NEW NBA CHAMPS, I'll send it BACK AT CHA.. JUST SAYIN.

frmkt, KobeMVP...

Thanx for the kind words.

G.money...

What do you think of LeBrawn's proposed cartoon series? I linked to video of him announcing its conception. The link is earlier on this thread.

Personally, I think it's just great (big time sarcasm) that LBJ is trying to teach the children of this country about "morality and honor." Whatta guy!!

Diandra,

Thanks for the info on Dickerson. You're right, he did try to make a comeback last year. The injury that forced him out was a rare groin injury. Below is a link to a good article on him & a excerpt. (I'm with you 100% on people wishing injuries on anyone.)
-------
Michael Dickerson is best remembered in Memphis for suffering a rare groin injury, enduring two years of rehabilitation and retiring after appearing in just 10 games during that span.


http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/may/12/ex-griz-michael-dickerson-health-six-years-after-i/

MM: Love this kind of analysis! Great Xs and Os. Keep up the great work!

"For those that like and appreciate Derek Fisher, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't like Fish, no explanation is possible."

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | January 18, 2011 at 07:16 PM
====

Pure genius.

Leave it to a Lakers/Yankees fan who appreciates dynasties and the pieces that fit together to achieve them.

Posted by: KobeMVP888

We will never know but I'm pretty sure the margin of victories in the Championships the Lakers won with Fisher would be even larger without the great Derek Fisher on the floor. As I stated before the Bulls won 3 Championships despite Luc (no hands) Longley on the floor. You can go on and on about this guy...he just happened to play with the best (Shaq, Kobe , Gasol).

Just wanted to mention how much I like the photo at the top, and a couple from other angles that I've seen. MM wrote it right about the many faces of Kobe throughout the game but that dunk was just pure basketball joy, the moment when it all slows down and the crowd noise blurs and a guy in his 15th year shows that he can still fly when the wind's just right.

@Hobbit - I'm glad you enjoyed the DFish banter. I'm missed hearing from you the last few days. I loved your line ...
There are known knowns. There known unknowns. There are unknown unknowns.


You mentioned Jason Kidd. I would've loved seeing him in a Laker uniform at any point in his career. He's one of the greatest PG's ever and is a first ballot HOFer. You're right about DFish poor FG% at 37%. JKidd's is even worse this year at 34%. And last year in the playoffs he shot 30%. It was so bad that Mavs fans complained that Carlisle should've played Beaubois more.


I'm not comparing Fish with Kidd, cause there's no comparison. JKidd has way more responsibility with the Mavs than Fish with the Lakers. I'm simply pointing out that his shooting went south when his team needed it the most.


@Diandra: "I like Chris Bosh. Or I did before, no idea why he's being such a diva as of late."

Answer: he's been hanging out a lot more with Princess Jimmy...

Go Lakers!!!!!!

Starting to see who is who on this blog. Respect to all. Ok so Dallas now, how about some smack talk on that, anyone? A big game (still January) but a big game non the less.

MM, You pretty much ingnore my live chat post's. That is ok I am still a newbie. Two things for you. You write very good columns, your on camera wrap ups still need some work though. Think cadenence as you report on camera. Your potential is limitless. Respect to you too!

My love of the Lakers is true. Our respective Laker love is deep. MM, as you can tell I can 'crit but not write so well.

Wow it is time for bed. To blog a quote or "to quote a phrase" we still got this peeps. Fish bashers (not cool), and Luke bashers (myself included, not cool) We are so blessed with this team and our 80 degree days. I love this team, I love this game! In Dallas let's grow and adapt.Nite all........

Where the Lakers blew it in terms of a top PG was in 2004 when Kupchak accepted an unhealthy Brian Grant as part of the deal for Shaq. Recall when Jerry Buss said he wasn’t going to trade Kobe and Shaq demanded the trade, Pat Riley immediately came to Los Angeles with hat in hand. Kupchak settled for Grant, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and a future first round draft pick. But Grant was damaged goods (young onset Parkinson's) and mainly served to help match salaries rather than being a player of value for the Lakerzs. Had Kupchak and the Lakers medical brain trust done their homework on Grant, rejected him for medical and negotiated harder, D Wade (drafted by Miami in 2003 but who had not yet achieved stardom) might very well have been forced on the table since Riley really wanted the deal.

Diandra - Ah, I'm sorry you missed out. The Arizona Wildcats run in '97 was one of the best runs in basketball. Way better than the Grizzlies, although they were good, and I think it's great that you keep them alive. It was wrong that they left that town. Very good team.

Diandra- Dickerson was very good. I'm not sure why he didn't work in the NBA, he definitely had the skills. Just not quite there, I guess. There are more good basketball players in the world than there are roster spots in the NBA. Same category as Malik Hairston, I guess. I would have put Luke Walton in the same spot, but he found a role in the NBA, and good for him.

Diandra- the evolution of Kobe is the best story in the NBA right now, if Kobe wanted it to be. If he was Shaq, he'd be yammering about it nonstop. But he's not, and that's cool too. He'll win again, and I like that.

frmrkit- see previous note. Kobe is still the best player on the Lakers, and the Lakers are probably going to win the championship again. He has flaws, but you should probably temper your criticism a bit.

bronx- not Quinn the Eskimo? Our loss.

Yeah, it was City of Angels. I got that. It just makes me sad, though, I really loved the woman who loaned me that album, but it didn't work out. I hope it got you guys to listen to John Lee Hooker. He was one of the best.

Yeah, if we had trade for Jason Kidd, we probably would have won the last two championships.....

Lake Show- there is no who's who on the blog, there is no hierarchy. I know you have been on the game chats for a quite a while. Be as creative and entertaining as possible on the regular blog, we appreciate it. You have good comments.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

GO LAKERS!

Oh, that's a great picture, except the part where I can see Kobe's, um.....Dang, no that ain't right.

"frmrkit- see previous note. Kobe is still the best player on the Lakers, and the Lakers are probably going to win the championship again. He has flaws, but you should probably temper your criticism a bit."
Posted by: phred | January 18, 2011 at 11:59 PM

_______

What are you "talking" about? I'm one of #24's biggest fans just for the mere fact that he still has that fiery competitive spirit and can back it up. Perhaps you misunderstood my previous post or I just don't write well enough to be comprehensible. No matter.

I think FCM is pretty egalitarian. I mean, he talks to pfunk fairly often. He has either no standards or similar standards of sublimity to me. He can only make so many comment, especially when he is retweeting Matt Kemp or whoever. He make it, he'll be ok.

Phred your randomness i.e. wisdom and recognition is appreciated. I looked for ways to say that in a more ironical fashion to measure up to you, but there is only one you. Thank you kind Sir. Lakers bring me the love.

frmrkt- sorry, i read this-

"...Kobe - what do you expect from a guy who is in the twilight of his career and still uses words like punked, stink. Several F-Bombs. "shaving points" and just doing our job when describing HIS team's play?..."

Hey, I was kind of surprised that you made that comment, or were you quoting another comment I didn't read? Either way, I guess I meant to call you on that, but not to imply that you had questi0nable judgment. I guess I didn't understand the comment.

Heck, I like to think of myself as one of Kobe's harshest critics at least outside of the hard core coterie of the long term Kobe haters, so I can definitely understand how you could criticize Kobe and still be a fan. I guess what we had there was a failure to communicate, but you haven't been doing the blog equivalent of cutting the heads off of parking meters or eating 50 eggs, and I hopefully haven't been the blogs equivalent of being a fascist control freak, so I think we'll work it out.

I guess I ask the question again- how do you feel about how Kobe is adjusting his game to fit the Lakers overall talent and trying to be the force that gets us the championship, as usual? I find it interesting as all heck, how Kobe will adjust his game. I have almost absolute faith that he can do it, and I dang fascinated in watching

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE!

GO LAKERS!

Mark Medina,

A simple question:

Considering Derek Fisher's long history with the Lakers and his five rings, why do you think that Derek remains such a constant lightning rod for criticism?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

LJP- i'll try to get you what i heard about the heat's lack of willingness about trading DWade as least not much after I read your Elrod Enchilada post. Please have patience thought, I really am not much for arguing stuff on the blog ad infinitum, but I do appreciate how you make your arguments.

I'll do what I can.

much love

LRob- upon consideration, I agree maybe not. Nice it worked out the way it did.

Ok, Lake Show, because you are nice and I love you, I'll try to translate your comment to 'snark.' please feel free to cut and paste with your name in the credits and skip my credit, I can either live without it, or I will be very happy that I never have to answer to it, one way or the other.

OK "Dang. this 'Kobe' guy is way to intent about his scoring! Times (0r the games in my imaginations where we lose in the first round of the playoffs) He has been unable to recognize when he has trouble scoring and take the chance to passing to Pau Gasol or Ron Artest. Man, what could have been.

You guys are quite serious. It is like Vegas up in here.

Phred
I did a poor job of quoting some of Kobe's answers when asked about the team's play in various games, both wins & losses. Bottom line, Kobe isn't perfect but he is the most perfect player in the NBA today and the team, the city and the league are very fortunate to have him around. I see his game evolving to adapt to his physical abilities and the best way I can describe his game is "cerebral." His on the floor dribbling, directing the offense, trying to motivate his teammates all while trying to play the game simultaneously. I mean, it doesn't get any better than that.

frmrkt- Very well said. He is cerebral, and he hasn't let us down yet. I do not yet assume that he will adjust perfectly, as I think that Kobe making adjustments in the most interesting facet of the NBA regular season this year. If he does, we win. I think he will, but i'm interesting in seeing how his brain gets there.

Jon K...

I know the question was directed at MM, but I hope you don't mind if I offer an answer. Simply put, Derek Fisher isn't flashy on the court or have the kind of game that fantasy basketballers love. He doesn't pile up the points and assists. His stats are mundane. Except for his ring total. Derek is more substance than style in a world that increasingly thinks style is the criterion for greatness.

Hmm, a troll that I won't tell to &^%$ off. Yet.

I have to work at 8:00 am

Damn, correct usage of the singular tense of the word 'criterion' and an open ended question about Derek Fisher's value.

To quote Faith; 'Fisher has very solid intangibles.'

sums it up pretty well I think.

Dang, I'm getting too close to my own self-imposed criterion of fewer than 25 comments per. I'm going to transition to just going to sleep. Nice talking to y'all.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

Lake Show- Well, I will probably wake up at about 12 pm. I think we'll work something out though.

sooo what your really trying to say MM is that kobe is god ?

Am out of country (hey, Zaira, where can I get a REALLY good cup of espresso?) so I thought I'd pick up the slack on the night shift now that phred has punched out (nice posts, phred).

Saw the Thunder game via my Slingbox. I saw it as a transformative game for the Lakers...namely, Kobe as our PG of the future. Yes, you heard that right, our PG. Diandra was right on in her post about how good Kobe was as our facilitator and distributor. If he wants to extend his career another 8 years, and extend the Lakers' championship run beyond threepeat out into unbreakable record territory, he, Kobe Bryant, should become our PG. Forget the quest for a PG, go find a blazing hot shooting, young SG that can knock down mid-range jumpers and 3s all night long with Kobe penetrating and dishing the ball.

I have seen the future...I have seen our future PG...and many more rings.

g phoney is hilarious, the heat chat groups 86'd her..she is always just saying, the miami beat have tears without all of the skid 3 are'nt playing, le gone james comes back and stinks up his own court, spoelstra better watch out, king shames might shoulder check him again and wish bad karma to those who wish bad karma on people...just saying...LAKESHOW THREE ROW....

Kobe is still the man but he has to accept his physical condition. And be a playmaker. Just like Wilt Chamberlain in 72 when he was the captain of the team and averaged around 14 ppg, but he dominated in other areas like rebounding, blocks, assists, etc.

"Kobe made a spectacular difference in our team. he was the only player on the team who could break down a defense with his dribble.” Phil Jackson in More Than A Game.

He must be aggresive like last game and pass the ball.


Except for his ring total. Derek is more substance than style in a world that increasingly thinks style is the criterion for greatness.

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | January 19, 2011 at 01:14 AM
======

More genius. Never mind the greed of the average Lakers fan who wants a star at every position.

This is for LRob.

I try to follow alot of the music links you post. You mentioned Movie Soundtracks and I thought of Don Juan DeMarco (a favorite of mine). There was a scene where they tried to "Contain" Johnny Depp and assigned a Big Body Guard to intimidate him.

I could only find a 30 second click of the scene/music but here goes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50FyRkC8fkM

How many times have we all heard

Phil Jackson only wins because he's had Joradan, Kobe and Shaq?

and how many times have we all heard

Phil Jackson only wins because he's had Joradan, Kobe, Shaq and Fisher?

How many times have we all heard

Phil Jackson only wins because he's had Joradan, Kobe and Shaq?

Posted by: Magia32 | January 19, 2011 at 07:12 AM
====

My favorite discussion about this topic came from SVG after the 2009 NBA Finals. It's Re-Post that I will never stop using!:

"Tell me the team that didn't have great players that won a championship," said Stan Van Gundy, the Orlando Magic coach, the other night.

"I'm unaware."

Van Gundy – whose brother Jeff once mocked Jackson as "Big Chief Triangle" for Jackson's wont to share his passion for both Native American wisdom and the triangle offence – pointed out an astounding statistic on Sunday. Jackson, to wit, has now won 51 playoff series as a coach. Only 18 coaches in NBA history can claim to have won 51 playoff games.

Sunday also marked Jackson's 300th career playoff game. Only five franchises have played 300 or more playoff games – the Lakers, Celtics, 76ers, Pistons and Knicks.

Maybe he's not the greatest coach, but certainly there is no one with a better resume.

"Some of the stuff is almost incomprehensible," said Stan Van Gundy of Jackson's credentials. "And yeah, he's had great players, but the guy wins all the time. If you have Kobe and those guys and you're losing, okay, maybe they can talk about it. But that guy is winning all the time. You can't give him short shrift. I don't know Phil Jackson at all, you guys all know him better than I do.

"But damn, you look at the guy's record, it's undeniable."

LRob,

glad you liked the quote. I was watching Boondocks: The Health Inspector.

*chuckle*

re: fg% & J-Kidd. yep. That doesn't mean that he doesn't have more talent
than D-Fish. Just means that he had trouble shooting the ball.

It is what it is.

bronxlakerfan | January 18, 2011 at 09:47 PM-

Great marketing, Believe it are not , the King still have a OUTRAGEOUS following amongst kids and high school students. I actually think it will generate TOP ratings.

phred,To do justice in considering my point that D Wade might have become a Laker as part of the Shaq-to-Miami deal, try putting yourself in Pat Riley's shoes after Shaq demanded to be traded. Obviously Riley wanted Shaq badly as he came to LA quickly to make a deal. Had Kupchak and his medical geniuses evaluated Brian Grant properly, Grant’s young onset Parkinson's might have been evident. Probably there were outward signs as Grant’s shooting and rebounding performance his last year with the Heat declined about 16% and 32% respectively (both were down by nearly 50% and 40% respectively from his career highs). Both numbers declined by 44% and 53% respectively from the year before his 1 season with the Lakers before they bought out his contract. We all know how great Wade is today, but Wade’s numbers for his first NBA season (2003-04) were the lowest of his career (16.2 ppg vs 25.4 ppg for his career). Kupchak should have tried to put pressure on Riley and might have gained the upper hand in the negotiations had he threatened to go public with the fact that Grant couldn’t pass a physical. We’ll never know if Riley would have blinked first had Kupchak (with medical evidence) said that Grant was damaged goods and negotiated tougher. Otherwise we are left to conclude that Kupchak (if he knew Grant’s medical condition) was willing to deal Shaq for Odom & Butler (and winked at accepting Grant to make the salaries match) or that Riley snookered Kupchak.

Posted by: rossdogg76 | January 19, 2011 at 03:37 AM

What's Up doggieDogg? Nice to see you're back, Karma is what it is. Nobody saiding the KING is a ROCKET Scientist. He just got MAD SKILLS, c'mon Ross just APPRECIATE don't HATE.

888,

I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say.
I don't have a problem with Phil. I mean not everyone can be given one million dollars and make eleven million more, Phil has.
I do tho, think his style is getting old and tired just like it did in Chicago.

Style= Jordan and Kobe.

Magia32

In other words, not only do you have a problem with Fish, you think PJ should have retired, too, AND you disagree with SVG. To you, it's all about talent. OK, fellow Lakers fan. Whatever.

LJP305....

I always thought that the person the Lakers should have insisted on in the Shaq deal was Udonis Haslem. Riley might have included him. I agree with those who said that DWade was a deal breaker. Lamar and Caron Butler were two young players with tremendous upside at the time. It was hard enough for Riley to give them up. Don't forget Miami had made some noise in the playoffs that year and Wade showed signs of greatness. You may be right, but I just don't see Pat Riley parting with Wade under any circumstances at that time. He knew that with Shaq and DWade he had a chance to win and time proved him right.

G.money.....

Nobody saiding the KING is a ROCKET Scientist.

Posted by: G.money | January 19, 2011 at 07:38 AM

Truer words were never spoken.

@Nuggets Country - Thanks for the kind words.
@Lakeshow - Hey I'm sorry I missed your questions. Wasn't intentional. When did you leave them? Keep in mind I left the chat on for all the afternoon and I was only there from 1:30 to 3:30...I'd gladly answer any questions you have
@Jon K - I think it's because Laker fans are used to seeing true All-stars and don't always appreciate the nuances Derek brings. Everyone understands the playoff shots but it seems that his locker room presence and penchant to get deflections gets overlooked because they're hard to quantify. They noticed him getting beat off the dribble when they don't realize those point guards do that to everyone in the league. It's up to the rest of the team too to back up Derek.

bronxlakerfan, If the Lakers had properly evaluated Grant and determined he was damaged goods, they could have assumed the driver’s seat in negotiations with Riley and might have gotten a better deal. Take for example what the Nuggets are doing today -- not jumping at the first deal but taking their time in trying to get the best deal possible for Melo. When Riley immediately showed up to make his pitch for a deal, I wonder what would have happen if Kupchak negotiated tougher. Getting D Wade was by no way a slam dunk, but exposing Riley’s hand (he was peddling damaged goods) might have produced a better deal for the Lakers.

Mark,
Do you know if Matt Barnes is travelling with the Lakers to Dallas & Denver?

Thank you.

Though I appreciate Kobe's constant zeal and competitiveness, there is NO WAY he will ever be a point guard, and he is DEFINITELY NOT a GOAT. Just watch the last two minutes of the OKC game to see this point. Westbrook takes Kobe to school everytime down and what does Kobe do on the other end? Forces shots and dribbles, dribbles, and/or turnover (not to mention the missed free throws in the clutch). As Terry mentioned in an earlier posting, Kobe lets his ego get the best of him (trying to outdo Westbrook), instead of letting the game unfold, relying on his superior teammates (superior to other teams), and taking an open shot or layup after executing the offense. Drives me nuts...that game should have been over when they went up by 10 with about 4 minutes to go, no thanks to Kobe.

Hugo Boss - Matty tweeted he was staying behind in LA for rehabbing. Says he LOVES to do it!

bronxlakerfan,

I think that's sage analysis.

Man, I get tired of all the chicken littles screaming about Derek. He's our point guard. He's won us Championships. We're one of the best teams in the league right now in terms of record.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K, people have opinions and what's great about our Country (and this LATimes facility) is we are free to express opinions. There is nothing wrong with that or the people who express opinions. I’d liked to have seen Riley’s response had the Lakers said Grant (with his $12million/yr, 3-4yr contract) is sick, he can’t play, it’s really going to be tough on the Heat when others in the league learn Grant can’t pass a physical and we’ll look for a better offer. Would Riley have walked away under the threat of being exposed for trying to peddle damaged goods or would he have worked with Mitch in an effort to come up with a better deal?

Glad to have watched No 8/24 all his career.Gone with the wind.Haters gonna hate,losers gonna want him stop scoring/dishing/rebounding.He is never gonna get Dwade/Bron calls from refs.

Go Kobe!

Hugo Boss - He is doing rehab.

Mark Medina,

Agreed. Thanks.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

LJP305,

Freedom of Speech doesn't mean a person is without a responsibility to respect their audience or assess the quality of their statement before making it. That guy who shot Gifford went on and on about his freedom of speech. He felt for some reason that it was his inherent right to saying insane things in the middle of class at inappropriate times while other people were speaking.

Sometimes it seems to me that some of these obsessive Fisher-haters are of a similar ilk.

By the way, I thought your insight into the Riley-Grant issue was interesting.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K,I don’t think it’s an exact analogy to compare reported statements by “that guy who shot Gifford” with those of Laker fans -- sort of the proverbial apples to oranges comparison when it comes to speech. In any event, thanks for the kind words regarding my comments on Riley-Grant. Anyone know if the statute of limitation bars going after those Laker medical geniuses who approved Grant for malpractice?

as far as the world opinion poll 'best ever debate between MJ & KB' I think Kobe is ahead in the 60's% since the 3x 60+ ppg. under 3 quarters & the 5th. ring. I think Kobe will be leading in the opinion polls in the 70's% after his 6th. ring. After his 7th. ring he'll lead MJ well into the high 80's%. Then when & if he hits 70ppg. a couple more times as well as clear 100ppg. there won't be anybody who will risk getting handcuffed, straight jacketed & committed to argue against him being the best ever! He basically has my vote for the long haul. i'll give him jordan now, but the video game Wilt stats(though were more than likely would've been broken during the 3x 60 rant still factually isn't) still have 2b broken.


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