As a longtime Kobe Bryant hater i feel obligated to write this. admittedly my opionions are slightly biased. i hate the guy, always have...although i hate him, i've always admired and acknowledged his greatness and competitiveness. however, although the Lakers are up 3-1 and on the verge of getting Kobe his 4th, my opinions of his game have actually lessened. i was convinced that he was the 2nd best player going behind only LBJ. Now i'm pretty sure that D-Wade is better than him as well and i'm not so sure you cant throw some other guys in there as well...it seems to me that if his jumper isn't working, his teammates have to win in spite of him...any thoughts?
i must add that Pau Gasol is a freakin stud. i'm more and more impressed by the guy every time a watch him. he's easily 2-3 inches taller than Howard, maybe more, and he's so skilled....
well, I'm a Kobe fan, so I will defend him. Kobe has not shot that well in the Finals, but he was unbelivable against Denver, and those games were just as important as the Finals and against a tougher team. Kobe was great in game 1, I missed game 2, he struggled down the stretch in game 3 after an amazing 1st quarter, and I thought he played great in game 4 despite the poor shooting numbers. He consistently made plays throughout the game, hit timely shots, and his spin move into the lane with the no look over the shoulder pass to Gasol for the Dunk in the 4th was spectacular. He is only the 3rd player ever to post 30 points and 8 assists in each of the first 4 games in a Finals series. His defense is top notch. He battled Lewis on numerous plays and completley shut Rashard down. He single handedly kept Howard from getting all the way under the basket on the final play of regulation forcing him out 8 feet from the hoop in one on one coverage.
Kobe's intensity is unmatched in the league. LeBron and Wade are both great and very close to Kobe, but they still don't demand as much attention as Bryant does at this point. Kobe has a better post game then either of those other two. And more then anything, he is still playing. Wade was far from spectacular in the first round against the Hawks, and while I can't hate on LeBron's play in the playoffs, he did'nt do much in game 6 with his season on the line. Heck, even Zo said that Phil might as well of not shown up for the playoffs because Kobe has been coaching the team as well.
not in agreement with you about how much attention each demands. especially since Lebron's teammates are worse than Kobe's....admit that if Lebron took and missed this many shots, and missed those 4th quarter free-throws, that Kobe fans would kill him in here. "The Closer" as he has been dubbed hasn't done much closing. and before you tell me that he's making the right play, also admit that Lebron has been getting killed over the years for passing down the stretch....and dont even get me started on that ridiculous face that Kobe's been making lately!...and if we're going to continue to criticize LBJ for lacking a polished post game, let us also criticize Kobe for struggling to get to the hoop and finish like he did in the past. if his game is so complete how come all i see is jumper after jumper?...furthermore, if he is so good at using his teammates, why is Gasol getting something like 10 shots a game?...i must admit that the officiating has been garbage, especially towards the Laker big-men. that said, i think the Magic have outplayed the Lakers in 3 out of 4 games. but their b1tchassness prevents them from winning and the Lakers grit and experience puts them over the top. is that an accurate assessment in your eyes?
for the record, as good as he is, i cant stand Dwight Howard!
I mean, "win in spite of Kobe." Are you serious? Kobe shot extremely poorly in this past game, but did he not make a few beauties down the stretch? Not to mention, the Lakers shot 0 foul shots in the fourth quarter. None. I mean, I have seen disparity before, but never on the level of just straight up denying a team from going to the line. A few of Kobe's misses would have to be credited to great defense, and even poor shot selection (even though it is Kobe). But, more than a few of those shots would have been whistles on the other end. I am not a big NBA referee conspiracy fan, but I think even the Magic players were sometimes surprised and what wasn't being called (and throwing shit fits when they finally were). Kobe even tried to take it at Dwight a couple times, Dwight came down on Kobe, no call. For people who were pissed about Kobe's elbow, that was really, really incidental and not at all an offensive foul, than the refs gave you Dwight Howard for the whole game.
You can hate Kobe for whatever reason you want, bottom line is he is an incredible basketball player. I was saying that Kobe was the best until LeBron beat him, well, that is not happening this year. Complain about Kobe's jumper all you want, dude still has more of a stroke than Wade and LeBron (though they have surpassed him at finishing near the basket). Kobe shot that 5-10 in game 3 at the line, but I have seen LeBron and Dwyane miss free throws in the clutch (LeBron still does, and Dwyane against Chicago in the play-offs a few years ago shot abysmally at the line). Kobe has the best foot work in the NBA on the offensive end, and he plays tough D. Not to mention that in the first 2 games, I am pretty sure he carried the team, and in 3 and 4, for as poorly as he shot, he was the only person doing anything for the Lakers in both of those games first halves. So, to say something like the Lakers win "in spite" of Kobe is just ridiculous. Every player needs help from their teams to win basketball games, Michael Jordan used to pass up potential game winners for others on his team as well. Plus, D-Fish does not exactly have a poor record when it comes to shooting in the clutch, especially with Jameer Nelson giving him as much room as he did. The Lakers are winning because Kobe Bryant, for as well as Mikeal Pietrus or Shane Battier or who ever the hell else you put on him, is going to find a way to score baskets. Every other player on the Lakers is incredibly inconsistent, even Pau Gasol (who can be a beast and is a huge help to Kobe most of the time). So, on a team riddled with inconsistent play, with a tendency to look like they are lacking mental toughness, Kobe is the weak link? I do not know many people who would make that argument other than people with a personal vendetta against Kobe Bryant.
i would never deny that Kobe is an incredible player...my "in spite of" comment is more in the sense of even though they arent getting what they were once accustomed to from Kobe, other guys are stepping up and they're still winning. Not "he's the weak link"....you dont think his play has hurt them in this series at all?
If you think LBJ and Wade and possibly a host of others are better then Kobe, then by all means go ahead and feel that way. Like I said, Kobe has not shot particularly well in the finals, but his impact on the game is undeniable. So for you to say the Lakers have to win "in spite" of Kobe, even the biggest Kobe haters would laugh at that. And for the record, Kobe has tried to go to the rim, but he draws so much attention, that it is often better if he can get a jumper off. If you can keep Lebron or Wade out of the lane most of the game, they are no where near as dangerous as Kobe.
I just read an article that described Kobe's game 4 performance as "grinding", meaning it was'nt coming easily for him, but he continued to battle and lead his team. He made numerous big plays. He hit the first two shots in OT and had the Magic playing catchup the rest of the way and when they focused on him, he hit Fisher for the open shot. He want's it more then anyone else. And how many big plays do you think the other guys would be making if it was'nt for Bryant drawing all the attention?
He's in the Finals for the 6th time (as many appearances as Jordan) and about to win his fourth. But like I said, if you would take a handful of other guys ahead of him, go right ahead.
perhaps "in spite of" wasnt the best choice of words! lol...didnt expect quite the backlash...i think you know what i mean though
Well, words can definitely be taken out of context, so I understand you might not have meant that. But, with a 3-1 lead in the series, and with Kobe averaging 30 a game in the play-offs, plus 33 per contest in this series, I do not think his play has hurt them much (by much I mean at all). I mean, if Allen Iverson were to be doing what Kobe was doing, we would have called him the second coming of Christ, but Kobe is leading his team to the finals are you are saying he is hurting them? 43% shooting is not Kobe's best, but this team does not have a lead in the finals without Kobe regardless of how he has played or shot.
u kno it really doesnt matter what any of u kobe or laker haters think or say becuz 2nite the lakers won it all. they ignored all the doubters and all the "kobe isnt a good teammate" accusations an dnow they are the champs. there is no more kobe cant win without shaq talk and at this point kobe has gotten that weight off his shoulders. congrats to the lakers and finals MVP Kobe "bean" bryant a.k.a Black Mamba!!!