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Caught in the Web: Marveling at Kobe Bryant's All-Star performance

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Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details how Kobe Bryant fed off the youthful energy in the West's 148-143 victory over the East in the 2011 NBA All-Star game.

--The New York Times' Jonathan Abrams notes how Bryant's performance put temporarily overshadowed the attention on Carmelo Anthony's playing future.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding pinpoints Bryant's performance as a Hollywood ending.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen credits Bryant's efforts.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford details Bryant's dominance.

--The Washington Post's Michael Lee highlights the show Bryant put on in front of a hometown crowd. 

Sidebars

--The Times' Broderick Turner reports that the Sacramento Kings' talks about a possible move to Anaheim get more serious.

--The Times' Lisa Dillman explains how an eventful All-Star weekend for Clippers forward Blake Griffin has drained his energy.

--NBA.com's Art Garcia looks at how the youth infusion fueled Bryant's energy.

--Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix gives Bryant an A and Gasol a B+ for their All-Star performances.

--NBA.com's Shaun Powell calls Bryant's effort a Hollywood ending. 

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen looks at Bryant's intensity.

--The Orange County Register's Dan Woike highlights different parts of All-Star weekend.

Columns

--The Times' Bill Plaschke says Los Angeles still remains Bryant's town.

--The Times' Mark Heisler predicts there will be an NBA lockout.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore contends Bryant remains the leading man in L.A.

--ESPN.com gives Bryant and Pau Gasol an A for their All-Star efforts.

--ESPN.com's John Hollinger says the Kobe-LeBron showdown in the 2011 All-Star game could be a good Finals preview.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky believes Bryant's scoring spree was warranted.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi thinks Bryant's stated willingness to pass the torch to Griffin is genuine. 

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton credits Bryant for his hard work.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears details how Bryant commanded the All-Star stage.

--Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock predicts Bryant's MVP performance in the 2011 All-Star game will be his last accomplishment.

Blogs

--ESPN Los Angeles Brian Kamenetzky makes sure to give credit to Pau Gasol for his All-Star contributions.

--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin pokes fun at Bryant's contention the younger players inspired him to play well.

--Pro Basketball Talk's John Krolik highlights the winners and losers from All-Star weekend.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell details Bryant's MVP performance.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore and Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano both liked the 2011 NBA All-Star game.

Tweet of the Day: Congrats to my man Kobe on the work he put n 2nite. Excited about getting back 2 work 2maro. First practice n 6weeks can't wait!!" -- Matt_Barnes22 (Lakers forward Matt Barnes)

Reader Comment of the Day: "Kobe was very cool. Just when you think it is safe to go back in the water - he drops 37" -- Lakerholic

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is congratulated by West teammate Kobe Bryant of the Lakers during the NBA All-Star game on Sunday at Staples Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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RCOTD = LAKERHOLIC = OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!!

Ah, what a great weekend.


Saturday, we watch the Celts being owned by Jones in the 3-pt contest...

Later, Blake gets the dunk contest, cool. I just don't like tooo much those cars, choirs, flags and extra hoops, really. I'm more old-school type of guy, just go there and dunk, but the overall was nice.


Sunday's game...Kobe posterize LePain on a nice dunk and gets his 4th ASG MVP, how cool was that?


It couldn't be any better...

Cheers.

Sunday's game...Kobe posterize LePain on a nice dunk and gets his 4th ASG MVP, how cool was that?Posted by: Magic Phil | February 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM
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Real Cool Magic Phil, Real Cool!!! LOL!! Good hearing from you sir!!


@LAKERJ… That’s quite a juicy tidbit that MM dropped in his article about Dwight asking Kobe for realtor references. A forced sign-and-trade to the Lakers by Dwight Howard might be the only way the Lakers agree to trade Andrew Bynum. Of course, the other way the Lakers can elevate their game to the next level would be for Drew to become the beast he could be. I watched the Making of a Beast again yesterday and it’s obvious to see that Drew is still a long way from getting his quickness and hops back. I suspect we won’t see him 100% until next year. That will be fine if he can stay healthy.
…………………………….
@SEAN… I meant to comment a few days ago regarding your post about Pau Gasol. I thought your take on Pau was right on. Like you, I think the guy is a great player and perfect fit for this team and the Triangle Offense. Having said that, I have the same reservations as you do about whether or not Pau will come through in the clutch. To me, Pau’s confidence is very fragile, especially when he has a matchup where the other player is physical, which is a big reason why Andrew Bynum is so very important to this team. Drew’s presence allows Pau to usually have a favorable match up, one where he feels confident he can dominate. When Pau faces a tougher or more physical player, he is prone to become passive and allow himself to be taken out of the game. That’s the flip side to Pau’s greatness.
……………………………..
TOM


"He’s done. It’s over. He’s no longer a leading man."

The biggest Kobe hater in the media is back again. And all I have to say is...

THANK YOU!!!!!

Now I know for sure that Kobe will go on a super human 5 month stretch that ends on Figueroa.

@LAKERJ… I’ll post the plans for NorCal Lakers Bloggers when I get back to work tomorrow since all that stuff is on my work PC. Looking forward to a re-vitalized and re-motivated Lakers team when we play again tomorrow night. We’re rounding the turn heading into the stretch. Time to play.
……………………………..
TOM

@LakerTom- Thanks, will keep an eye out. I hear you. What Cleveland loss? I'm looking forward to the final stretch, all else is water under the bridge. Go Lakers!

kobe ,i believe, was saying to all that he isn't going anywhere for a while. since it's all in the timing, let's see what the lakers look like against the hawks. pau played well against the best in the league, which should help restore his confidence

@Lakerholic - congrats on your RCOTD.


@LT - I don't think Pau is a great player. He's very good and a all-star, but some of expect greatness and I think that part of the problem. Some even wanted to hype him for MVP. Don't get me wrong I'm very happy he's a Laker, but I don't consider him a great player because of some of the shortcomings that have been well documented.

MM,

Is Matt Barnes tweet correct? Did he practice today?


@MM… Please give LakerJ my email address. Thanks.
……………………………..
TOM


@LROB… We always hear basketball analysts talk about how great an acquisition Pau Gasol was for the Lakers but the truth is that the Lakers are the perfect match between a team’s needs and a player’s specific skills. Pau needed the Lakers just as much as they needed him.

The Lakers are the perfect team for Pau Gasol with an offensive system designed around a big man who can pass with Kobe Bryant to do the heavy lifting and Andrew Bynum t0 take the more physical opponents. I doubt Pau would be selected to the All-Star game if he wasn’t playing for the Lakers.

So despite his shortcomings, Pau is also the perfect fit for the Lakers, which is why the only time I ever considered trading him was for Melo. As good as Pau has been and will continue to be for the Lakers, it would be fool’s gold in my mind to think he could lead the team when Kobe retires.
……………………………..
TOM


Laker J: You represent the best of the best here on the blog, bro. You are positive, pleasant and knowledgeable all while keeping it real about your beloved Lakers. If anyones post are must-read, yours are. Much appreciate the kind words. My list of faves here on the blog is not a long one, but you are right there at the top!

Gotta say though, my FBB team may have won our last meeting, but I'm still looking up at you in the standings!

- - -

Johnny V, Troll Man, LRob: You guys get it and I'm right there alongside you guys. The blog isn't about any one of us, it's about *all* of us. I'm with you all, trolls give the blog some flavor, a bit spicy, a bit bitter and some of what they say are sprinkled with some hard-to-face truths. I hope 888 reads what you guys wrote, too. I seriously doubt that he comes back but if anything he can see that there are people here that appreciated him and his views.

- - -

LakerTom: I think it may be too late to reel 888 back onto the blog, but I know for a fact you were at the top of his list as favorites over here. You and LRob called for 888 to come back when he left, now we can see that actually a lot of people miss him. The 'Come Back 888' bandwagon might be too little, too late but if it does make him feel better then that's cool enough.

- - -

Excellent bloggers like all of you have kept me here but perhaps it just isn't possible to keep a single blog-home anymore. I feel like a nomad, moving since the mid-90s, have left here several times but always come back. I'm sick of all the negativity and issues outside of basketball that we always seem to get sucked into, it happens everywhere but seems to have been happening a lot around here lately. Looking forward to focus back on hoops, just not into these little dramas.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Practice hasn't started yet. But he said he planned to practice after the All-Star break. We'll obviously have news on it once practice is done

Wow...did anyone read the Jason Whitlock column on Kobe? I usually disagree a lot with Whitlock so I'm not surprised. But these comments were even over the top for him. Here's a quick excerpt....

"I might live to regret this statement, but I believe it nonetheless: Feb. 20, 2011, was Kobe’s last stand."

"He’s done. It’s over. He’s no longer a leading man.
Sunday was Kobe’s final great moment on the NBA’s big stage (playoffs, All-Star Game)."
-----------------------------

No more big moments in the playoffs....REALLY. It's one of those articles that make you think it was written just to get attention!

I'm just wondering, if the Lakers do acquire Dwight Howard, who would play PF - he or Drew? My money is on playing Dwight at the 4.

- - -

Jon K: Just want to tell you how well you say so much while keeping your posts succinct and to the point. The points you make are outstanding too. Always entertaining, great stuff & must reads. I truly hope you're right and this story ends in a happy ending.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

LRob: Whitlock was the dude that asked Kobe the 'So, you want to play with young guys' question last night.

His question actually was a fair one, Kobe tried to spin it into some humor. Whitlock though comes across as the kid who got mad and stomped off, writing a bash-piece because of being humiliated - at least in his own mind.

Amateurish.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

LT - I agree with just about everything in your comments at 12:05pm about Pau. However, I think he still would be an All-Star if he wasn't on the Lakers. Maybe not every year like he is now, but probably every other year or so. But yes he's the perfect compliment to Kobe.


@CCX … “I'm just wondering, if the Lakers do acquire Dwight Howard, who would play PF - he or Drew? My money is on playing Dwight at the 4.”

Since the only way that the Lakers would be able to get Dwight Howard would be him demanding a sign-and-trade with the Lakers, the obvious Laker player to be traded for Dwight would be Drew. You could make an argument that Drew is younger and will be better than Pau down the road and trade Pau, but them you really end up with two centers, which would not be good. However, to answer your hypothetical question, I would think Drew would be the power forward since he has a better touch from outside and you want to keep Dwight under the basket. I don’t get giddy over trading Drew for any player because I still think his upside is infinite but I also probably smile at the chance to get Dwight Howard. Reminds me of when we got Shaq, Kareem, and Wilt. Having said that, I kind of think specially of the guys who were only Lakers – West, Baylor, Magic, Kobe, and Drew. Bottom line, I hope Drew becomes the great beast I think he can but I’d take Howard second.
……………………………..
TOM

LRob: Whitlock was the dude that asked Kobe the 'So, you want to play with young guys' question last night.

His question actually was a fair one, Kobe tried to spin it into some humor. Whitlock though comes across as the kid who got mad and stomped off, writing a bash-piece because of being humiliated - at least in his own mind.

Amateurish.
Posted by: CyberCosmiX | February 21, 2011 at 12:23 PM
-------------------

Cyber - yeah, I know. Kobe said that he was energized playing with some of the young ballers and Whitlock asked if he wished the Lakers had more young guys. How did he expect Kobe to answer that? If he says yes...he's throwing his teammates under the bus. Kobe just told him that was a STRETCH. A very good answer. The one part of the Whitlock column I agree with is that Kobe has no intentions of turning the league over to Durant, Blake and the young guys just yet (despite what he said)!

Just a notes from this piece ---> Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock:
******************************************************
******************************************************
"I might live to regret this statement, but I believe it nonetheless: Feb. 20, 2011, was Kobe’s last stand."

"He’s done. It’s over. He’s no longer a leading man."

"It’s over."
******************************************************
******************************************************

I ask someone that can pass this piece of proclaimed journalism to Phil Jackson or/and Kobe Bryant and put it in the Lakers Locker Room.


Usually I don't lose time with this kind of work, but this piece makes me laugh a lot. When the media makes their opinion it is difficult to alter it. And since Kobe made his mistake in Colorado or because the media only like their chosen one Lebron, it is impossible to him to be seen in good eyes.


I hope our Lakers team gather after this break and embrace the remaining games with a better attitude.

I also ask this community to stay together in this harsh times and pass positive energy to the team. Everyone wants the Lakers and Kobe to fail except for us so let's give strength to the team.

I also ask this community to stay together in this harsh times and pass positive energy to the team. Everyone wants the Lakers and Kobe to fail except for us so let's give strength to the team. Posted by: TidalWave | February 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM
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Oh we'll stay together and pass that positive energy to The Lakers like a...TIDAL WAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!
OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!! KUDOS!!! Carry ON!!

Catching up after a long LA weekend. I wish I'd been fortunate enough to attend the All-Star festivities -- I had to settle for being in Los Angeles, surrounded by All-Star fever, and getting to see a great Banksy work live in Westwood.

Seems like I missed some Sonny B. madness...? The only reason I wouldn't step foot on THAT bandwagon is because my bus doesn't stop in Crazytown, and that's where Sonny lives. He doesn't just visit Crazytown, folks. He's the mayor.

Kobe looked AWESOME last night. The knee is healing, and the 2nd part of the season begins anew. Let's close out the regular season 20-5, and snatch 2nd place in the west.

Go Lake Show!

CCX,

You are too kind. Not a good GM, but kind nonetheless. Ha, ha!

As far as D. Howard, I believe that if he finds himself in the same situation as Melo is now, opting out of his contract and not signing an extension with Orlando, the Magic will also be forced to trade him and get something for him. My guess is that it would be Drew for Dwight if the Lakers are the other team. Orlando may opt to rebuild and get out of bad contracts, or they can see themselves as being contenders in the East with Bynum on their roster.
If you were to do a trade now between the two teams straight up, Drew for Dwight, the lakers are plus2 and the Magic plus1. They don't decline at all. Our adavantage will be at the 4 and having Kobe. Right now it's speculation at best, and we still have to take care of business this year.
I hope the Lakers pull off a minor trade that will land them either a back up center or a speedy point guard that can shoot from outside. Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith are on the trading block in case anyone is interested. "Please take a number and we will call you in that order. Please people one offer at a time, go ahead Miami... "

TidalWave - I'm with you 100%. See my post at 12:15.

"Wow...did anyone read the Jason Whitlock column on Kobe? I usually disagree a lot with Whitlock so I'm not surprised. But these comments were even over the top for him. Here's a quick excerpt....

"I might live to regret this statement, but I believe it nonetheless: Feb. 20, 2011, was Kobe’s last stand."

"He’s done. It’s over. He’s no longer a leading man.
Sunday was Kobe’s final great moment on the NBA’s big stage (playoffs, All-Star Game)."
-----------------------------

No more big moments in the playoffs....REALLY. It's one of those articles that make you think it was written just to get attention!


Posted by: LRob | February 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM "

Exactly. It's all about attention and getting hits on his article.

I do find it a little odd that Kobe was putting forth more athleticism and defensive effort in the all-star game than he has all season, which is probably why an article like this was written.

No more big moments in the playoffs....REALLY. It's one of those articles that make you think it was written just to get attention! Posted by: LRob | February 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM
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WOW! I missed this, so yes I have to say it again...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!

Marvelous play by all Los Angeles players starting from KOBE, GASOL and GRIFFIN!


and after watching the all-star games featuring the trio of KOBE, GASOL and MELO. I say trade Bynum for MELO!


Lakers will look good and need three ALL-STARS to three peat and four peat and five peat.


Watching the Celtics with four, and Heat with three all-stars, Lakers are just in a disadvantage having only TWO.


KOBE said it when he introduced MELO as West starters, the BEAST IN THE BLOC.


Among the all-stars, Gasol was already the tallest. So to loose Bynum is pretty much loosing against Shaq and Perkins, only Boston has an advantage over the Lakers in size. Playing Caracter against Perkins would do the trick.


But Lakers gain advantage with MELO/ARTEST and KOBE/BARNES tag team. The best part is no more mintues for Walton and Brown and mitues for Caracter is created with Bynum gone. The only issue is if Gasol goes down, LAKER HAVE no LENGTH in the middle.


Bynum's length and talent is so rare. But for Melo, a proven player and as Charles Barkeley says about MELO as the best PURE SCORER IN THE GAME TODAY, DURANT BEING 2nd.


Gasol, Odom and Melo as your frontline.

LAPD should put a handcuff on MELO at the airport and send him directly to Jerry Buss's home.


Lakertom,


Trading Pau Gasol for Melo is not an option because you loose an-all star big for an all-star, pretty much even if not less.


Besides Gasol has less chances of going down than Bynum is. Which if Lakesr are to give up one of their 7 footers, they will SURELY take it into MUCH consideration beacuse now they are thin at C, and can not AFFORD for one to loose to injury. That said, GASOL IS THE LOGICAL CHOICE, as rare as BYNUM is if you want MELO, you give up Bynum not Gasol.

LAPD should put a handcuff on MELO at the airport and send him directly to Jerry Buss's home.Posted by: Staples 24 | February 21, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regarding the Knicks, I am confused why they have not make the deal to get Melo, they are getting a Superstar in MELO, much needed in NY. WHy are they being hardheaded loosing two or three of their role players or rising stars.


Knicks should not even think about it, what ever Nuggets want not named Amare, as long as it is only Curry, any of the two or three combo of Galo/Chandler/Fields/Mozgov/Felton and no. 1 draft pick.


If I am the Knicks I will keep Mozgov and Fields and sign a free agent PG next year.


Mozgov, Amare, Melo, Fields and PG.


I do find it a little odd that Kobe was putting forth more athleticism and defensive effort in the all-star game than he has all season, which is probably why an article like this was written.

Posted by: Bay to LA | February 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM

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Three days rest has a way of rejuvenating the legs!

Three days rest has a way of rejuvenating the legs! Posted by: LRob | February 21, 2011 at 01:16 PM
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Yes, 3 days rest and...THE SHOES!!!!

Yes, 3 days rest and...THE SHOES!!!!

Posted by: mamba24 | February 21, 2011 at 01:27 PM

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

Ah yes...the shoes! How could I overlook the shoes :-)

BTW...I was sorry to hear about Dave Duerson the other day. My sympanthy to his family and the entire Bears community

"Three days rest has a way of rejuvenating the legs!

Posted by: LRob | February 21, 2011 at 01:16 PM "

That never hurts, although Kobe raised the bar pretty high with the allstar game. If he doesn't bring that same intensity against Altanta, the writers are going to have a field day.

Thanks LRob!

I don't think Pop was trying to wear Kobe out. I think he likes to win and the East was coming back. Who better than the best closer in the game? The proof... who won? Kobe drew the double/triple team and he got it to the open guy for the W. Pop, over the years, has expressed the utmost respect for Kobe. I think he is a great coach and I would be psyched if he ends up in LA after Phil rides off into the sunset ... Pop is a coach that Kobe would respect. I would love to see us get Sloan as well… Neither of these scenarios are very likely… ;-)

Hopes for the second half:
1. We get lots of wins and secure second place in the West.
2. We rest Kobe and Pau as much as possible (to keep them fresh for the real season) by blowing-out teams early and often. I don’t like close games. Heart disease runs in my family… ;-)
3. Lamar continues his consistent play.
4. Drew makes us all shut up about Dwight! I would love to see that – he has all of the tools, support, etc. to be the most dominant player in the league!
5. Fish, Brown and Blake start hitting their shots on a more consistent basis – and start stopping other guards from shooting the lights out.
6. Ron gets his head out of his rectum and starts playing B-ball like we know he can.
7. Pau remains aggressive.
8. We get Barnes back and the Killer B’s go on the attack!
9. Theo comes in and plays some quality minutes to keep our “bigs” healthy.
10. Ebanks and Caracter get some playing time. We may end up needing them at some point. It would be nice if they had more experience.
11. Mamba24 continues doing roll call and bringing the positive energy to this blog.
12. Threepeat!!! I hope it’s against the Celtics and all of them are healthy. Kobe and Fish get 6. Kobe gets another Finals MVP (ties Mike, 1 more than Magic and 2 more than Shaq). The Lakers get 17. Phil gets 12. We get the thrill of victory and an off-season of great memories (plus bragging rights with all of my friends who are Celtic fans… ;-) I guess beating the Heat would be fun as well… Everybody hates them. I’m good either way… ;-)

I am a Lakerholic.

Mamba24 - Thanks! This is my second. My Mom will be so proud... just kidding... sort off... ;-)

These writers, The Whitlocks and nobodys, are just tryna get a hit and the Nobel with the jibberish crap they write.

Truth is, they want Kobe to be over. The thought of him possibly tying Mike with 6 rings and maybe surpassing him is too much for them. They would never want to endear themselves to Kobe or speak highly of him in that regard.

Kobe knows this and he's like phuk 'em.. I write this to state that, "If God is for you, its more than the world against you. You are victorious...Don't know what scripture, but it was written!

Rydeordie,

The scripture you're referencing is Romans 8:31...

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

I didn't agree with Whitlock's column at all. Obviously as I noted in my story, Kobe was very mindful about how wanting to embrace the moment and proclaim his current dominance but know that his time is up. But to say that his All-Star game is the last major thing he'll ever do? He's kind of climbing up the NBA's scoring list and at least win one more ring. However, I think if the Lakers fall short this year, it will be extremely difficult for the Lakers to get one next year because of all the changes that will happen with Phil retiring and presumably the front office making changes because of an effort falling short


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