Friday, June 06, 2008

The Hidden Effect of Paul Pierce's Dramatic Comeback

Kobe Bryant is a weird dude. We all know this. For most of his career, he has been too contrived to fully realize his abilities - too conscious of how he is perceived and too eager to prove people wrong. When he's criticized for shooting too much, he refuses to shoot. The opposite is true when he's nailed for being too passive. I've never been a big fan, but even I'll admit that there were times when he couldn't win.

But then again, he proved during the second half of this season that he has had the ability to play authentic ball within him all along. From the time the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol to the time they vanquished the Spurs, you didn't hear a negative word about Bryant's decision-making. The last three months have been a coronation, capped off with the top seed, the MVP, a dominant run through the Western Conference, and a spot in the NBA Finals.

Then ... bam. He gets to the Finals and seemingly reverts back to the old Kobe. The one who seems to formulate a plan during timeouts, that often completely ignores how the defense is playing him, and appears to decide what course of action to take long before he gets the ball. The fourth quarter saw him jacking up terrible shots, dribbling out the shot clock while facing big deficits, and generally trying to single-handedly beat triple-teams despite having Pau Gasol on his roster. It was bizarre.

The question is: what brought this on? I suppose it was just the bright lights of the Finals that scrambled his brain waves. Or maybe he was frustrated by the Boston defense that is clearly geared to turn him into a contested jump shooter. Maybe it was that old flash of Kobe anger when a teammate seems to be playing in quicksand (paging Luke Walton). Those are all valid theories. (I should add here that another valid theory is that Kobe didn't actually "revert back" at all, but simply didn't have much energy tonight. I noticed on several occasions that he just didn't seem to be playing with much emotion.)

I have another theory and I'll admit that it's not the most flattering - I think Kobe Bryant was jealous of Paul Pierce.

Look, even though Bryant was struggling through the first 29 minutes of the game, it was largely due to his jumper not falling. He was getting good looks in the flow of the offense and I don't think anyone could complain that he was forcing things one way or the other. In fact, just before Pierce went down like a sack of potatoes, Kobe had thrown down a ridiculous alley-oop where he hung in the air long enough to fetch a late pass from Derek Fisher.

[Update - he also had his finest play of the game at the 8:10 mark of the third quarter, when he knifed into the lane, drew a double, and lobbed up a beautiful pass to Gasol.]

But when Pierce proceeded to live out Kobe Bryant's dream scenario - suffering a legitimately scary injury, being carried to the locker room, courageously (or over-dramatically, depending on which team you are rooting for) returning to the court to a standing ovation, and then burying consecutive monster threes - Bryant just couldn't take it.

You see, there is only one thing that Bryant has always seemed to want more than rings - and that is glory. It's why he milked that ankle injury and Shaq foul-out against the Pacers back in the day and why he had the appetite to score 81 in a game. This guy wants to be remembered and worshiped the way Jordan was. Going into these finals, he has been compared favorably (and inappropriately, I might add) to MJ himself, and I think it all went to Kobe's head. He stepped on the floor tonight assuming that he would have a patented Jordan Finals game, and even when he got off to the sluggish start, he didn't mind, because that just fit into the "he gets his teammates going and only then takes over the game!" script.

But Paul Pierce just had to steal his thunder. Pierce already had a "legendary" game in these playoffs when he outdueled LeBron James in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference semis. And there has been a lot of hype about Pierce being the hardest guy for the Lakers to guard and a former L.A. kid and the longest tenured Celtics and the straw that stirs the drink and a whole lot of other things that probably had to irk Kobe just a little bit. I mean, if I was Kobe I would probably have a "Paul Pierce? Are you kidding me that he's getting similar pub?" approach to things as well.

The problem is that when you elevate glory to the top spot on your list of priorities, it can cloud the objective. Pierce had his day in the sun, his "one shining moment" ... and Kobe flipped out. For the rest of the game, he overplayed people on defense and put himself out of position. He took bad, contested shots - often with no rebounding. He held the ball and let the shot clock wind down. In short, he did all the "Bad Bryant" things that we thought were history.

If that game is in L.A., the Lakers win. If Paul Pierce stays in the locker room, the Lakers win (that one is pretty obvious, I imagine). If Pierce never gets hurt at all, the Lakers win. I'm absolutely convinced of that.

Because if anything had been different tonight, Piece wouldn't have become an instant hero, Kobe's glory-meter wouldn't have gone into the red, and he would have calmly and coolly executed Boston just like he did the Spurs.

But, it wasn't different. And now the Lakers have a new, old fear to contend with.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree absolutely with the analysis. The first few possessions after Pierce went down, Bryant came down the court and went into attack mode. He rushed a few shots, but they were good looks and just didn't go down for him. I think that's an acceptable gamble because you want to take down the Celtics while Pierce was out. But once Pierce came back, Bryant's shot selection was simply abysmal. Exhibit A: The fadeaway airball with 2 defenders draped over him. Odom fortunately got the rebound and the bucket, but that summed up Bryant's mentality - I'm going to take this no matter what. I sincerely hope this won't repeat itself, or this will be a very short series.

Anonymous said...

I am a happy Celtics fan, but I don't entirely understand why Kobe gets so much negative criticism. He played fairly well last night - perhaps not up to his usual killer standard, but a very good game. He shared the ball, played great D, and was clearly the leader of the Lakers. Why can't we just say this: Kobe played well, as did the Lakers, but not as well as the Celtics?

Anonymous said...

You couldn't have been watching the fourth quarter last night if you think Kobe played well. If anything, he gets a free pass because he's got a reputation as being a "closer." LeBron would have been crucified today for a similar performance. And there is also no doubt whatsoever that he went back into hero mode during last night's game.

Rick said...

You guys piss on the Celtics every time you over analyze Kobe's game and speculate his intentions for taking shots and attempting plays that didn't pan out. I hope you aren't a Celtic fan. If you are this kind of talk is unforgivable. What you're saying is "Kobe is good enough to whip the Celtics any time he gets ready." Boston played a solid game. The Big Three did their jobs and they got help from Posey, PJ and Cassell. The Lakers bench was outplayed by Boston's and The Celtics big men made Lamar and Pau look tough as wet Kleenex. Kobe had a descent game but with the way the others were playing they needed a Superman like performance from Bryant to beat the determination of Pierce and company. This was the same strategy that allowed the Lakers to roll the Spurs out of the playoffs in game 5 and people celebrated it! The only difference is Kobe couldn't close the gap this time. Congratulations to Doc and the Celts.

If I use your logic to break down Pierce's performance I'd say he was thirsty for an iconic moment. He's sick of hearing how Bird is the greatest Celtic and he's not close. He's tired of all the KG talk when he's been busting hump for Boston since '99. SO, he dogged it in the first half, exaggerated an injury so he could come back in dramatic fashion and be the hero of New England and forever cement his legacy in the annals of NBA Finals History. Selfish jerk.

Anonymous said...

All this talk about Kobes so-so game last night. IT's called defense and Bostons track record says it will continue....Kobe's track record suggests him abandoning his teamates and scheme at the drop of a hat, and he did. Period. What are we to do if Kobe does not listen to Zen Head, which a book written by the Zenster suggests - (never write it down Phil - it will haunt you.) I certainly hope that for all the Faker fans (they have two real players apparently Kobe and Pau)some of the cadaver like performances of the rest of the Lakers and there vaunted bench (PLEASE?!?!)change and fast.

The wondering Mind said...

Your entire analysis was rubbish. I dont expect you to publish this but your read it and that is all that counts.

Kobe Bryant is a weird dude. We all know this.
– I don’t know this, generalization is the bane of competent writing.
But then again, he proved during the second half of this season that he has had the ability to play authentic ball within him all along. From the time the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol to the time they vanquished the Spurs, you didn't hear a negative word about Bryant's decision-making.
- Sorry but that is not true, and you know it but I guess anything to sell the lie eh?
Then ... bam. He gets to the Finals and seemingly reverts back to the old Kobe. The one who seems to formulate a plan during timeouts, that often completely ignores how the defense is playing him, and appears to decide what course of action to take long before he gets the ball. The fourth quarter saw him jacking up terrible shots, dribbling out the shot clock while facing big deficits, and generally trying to single-handedly beat triple-teams despite having Pau Gasol on his roster. It was bizarre.
– Lie no. 1. He never dribbled out the shot clock, Lie no 2. He was never triple teamed. Lie no 3. What big deficits? Are we talking about the same game? Lie No 4. Gasol got three pass from Kobe in the fourth, missed a jumper from the corner in one, turned it over the other two. And finally this is nothing but conjuncture on your part - . “The one who seems to formulate a plan during timeouts, that often completely ignores how the defense is playing him, and appears to decide what course of action to take long before he gets the ball”.
The question is: what brought this on? I suppose it was just the bright lights of the Finals that scrambled his brain waves. Or maybe he was frustrated by the Boston defense that is clearly geared to turn him into a contested jump shooter. Maybe it was that old flash of Kobe anger when a teammate seems to be playing in quicksand (paging Luke Walton). Those are all valid theories. (I should add here that another valid theory is that Kobe didn't actually "revert back" at all, but simply didn't have much energy tonight. I noticed on several occasions that he just didn't seem to be playing with much emotion.)
- I suppose that you know Kobe personally enough to know when he is not playing with emotion?

I have another theory and I'll admit that it's not the most flattering - I think Kobe Bryant was jealous of Paul Pierce.
- – Bam! Your idiocy is in full view.

But when Pierce proceeded to live out Kobe Bryant's dream scenario
- – How could you possibly know these things either your psyche or your imagination is really on over drive.
ou see, there is only one thing that Bryant has always seemed to want more than rings - and that is glory
– So you tell us.
he milked that ankle injury and Shaq foul-out against the Pacers back in the day and why he had the appetite to score 81 in a game
– Wow talk about double standards, Paul Pierce true hero (despite everybody saying he was milking it), Kobe not so much…… .
This guy wants to be remembered and worshiped the way Jordan was. Going into these finals, he has been compared favorably (and inappropriately, I might add) to MJ himself, and I think it all went to Kobe's head. He stepped on the floor tonight assuming that he would have a patented Jordan Finals game, and even when he got off to the sluggish start, he didn't mind, because that just fit into the "he gets his teammates going and only then takes over the game!" script.
– I thought you just said he was playing well or can’t you make up your mind? What could Kobe have done for you not to have written that statement? I am curious.

But Paul Pierce just had to steal his thunder. Pierce already had a "legendary" game in these playoffs when he outdueled LeBron James in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference semis. And there has been a lot of hype about Pierce being the hardest guy for the Lakers to guard and a former L.A. kid and the longest tenured Celtics and the straw that stirs the drink and a whole lot of other things that probably had to irk Kobe just a little bit.
– But how could it have irked Kobe? You just said that the excessive hype was getting to Kobe’s head or Did you mean the excessive hype for Pierce?
I mean, if I was Kobe I would probably have a "Paul Pierce? Are you kidding me that he's getting similar pub?" approach to things as well.
– But that is your problem not his, it’s your outlook on life, which probably explains this piece of trash writing but what does that have to do with Kobe?

The problem is that when you elevate glory to the top spot on your list of priorities, it can cloud the objective
– As opposed to what? success or hardwork? What in God’s name are you trying to say?
Pierce had his day in the sun, his "one shining moment" ... and Kobe flipped out. For the rest of the game, he overplayed people on defense and put himself out of position – You obviously watched another game
He took bad, contested shots - often with no rebounding
– He was not rebounding the first half neither but that does not fit your little story does it?
. He held the ball and let the shot clock wind down. In short, he did all the "Bad Bryant" things that we thought were history
– Please stay away from the boxscore, it is not doing you any good.

If that game is in L.A., the Lakers win. If Paul Pierce stays in the locker room, the Lakers win (that one is pretty obvious, I imagine). If Pierce never gets hurt at all, the Lakers win. I'm absolutely convinced of that
– – But then your sanity is shaky and hence things you are convinced of might not have anything to do with reality, for instant did you notice Celtics outscored the Lakers while Pierce was out for 1.45 minutes? .

Because if anything had been different tonight, Piece wouldn't have become an instant hero, Kobe's glory-meter wouldn't have gone into the red, and he would have calmly and coolly executed Boston just like he did the Spurs – I guess a hobbling Manu single handled carrying the Spurs to victory is not enough to make Kobe jealous?

But, it wasn't different. And now the Lakers have a new, old fear to contend with
– That fear is that biased people LIKE YOU are getting play on ESPN.

Anonymous said...

eh i don't think Kobe was wrong to attack and try to score. his shot selection may have been off and his teammates may have been a little timid...but at that moment, when the celts were digging deep and finding that inspiration, it's Kobe's job to shut them down.

you saw it vs the Spurs...everytime the Spurs got a little run in them, Kobe would take the ball and score, thus killing the momentum and not letting it get out of hand.

this is what he was trying to do. sure he wants glory, he wants a championship...but i for one will look at the entire season's body of work rather than one game. this is the year that Phil has finally gotten through to Kobe and Kobe has been buying into Phil's rap all season...which is why they are here in the first place. i don't think one game where his shots weren't falling constitutes Kobe reverting to his old bad habits.

BJ said...

great theory, the more I think about it, I think it is spot on.

nohomersclub said...

or maybe phil jackson told kobe to take over the game and kill momentum and the crowd and try to steal game one?

no, can't be that, he clearly was trying to hog the spotlight again which is why phil jackson, who's been known to author books of ridicule against kobe, went on a post game tirade about how kobe needs to get his teammates involved and stop taking bad shots

Parth said...

yea, he totally wanted to take pierce's glory. or... maybe he wanted to shut up the insanely loud crowd and break their heart? What can possibly make the boston crowd more scared than kobe catching fire?

Anonymous said...

OMG, are you kidding me?? Jealous of PP, I Have 3 rings and counting... probably end-up with 5 when my career is over, 11-time all-star, 9-time all-NBA, 7-time all NBA defense team!! And I'm jealous of PP. I think he is a great player, but jealous of him. PLEASE!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of ur theories...
especially with the jealous thing... Kobe always dreamed of being the #1 guy... the guy that would surpass MJ... Look at his jersey 24.. geez!

Allen said...

This is a great post ... for me to poop on.

This the type of post only a blogger would dare to write, because it's so speculative and biased. No respected writer would go so far off the deep end. It would be like writing about an alien encounter.

You start with your prejudice of Kobe Bryant: "I think he is a selfish, glory hogging player", and write about the resulting events colored by that perception.

I'm just glad you don't write for a major publication, and I can't believe Truehoop would even link tho this.

Anonymous said...

Everyone commenting on the credibility of the author or whether he is or isn't unbiased miss the point of blogging. Unlike the robots who write for newspapers, bloggers are free to clearly reveal their biases and write with colorful language and crazy opinions. The opening two sentences are genius because they are so ridiculous. It's like Bill Walton's announcing style. You don't see that it's tongue in cheek? Are you guys obtuse? Welcome to the new world order. As for the post's content, whatever, it's one theory. It is what it is.

Mike said...

I think the premise is overstated here, but certainly not implausible. The idea, if I understand it correctly, is that Kobe goes from rational to irrational and his judgment gets clouded at times. This clearly seemed like it could be one of those times. Was it? Who knows? Maybe he just got tired or the defense was too good. There are a ton of theories and I thought this one was kind of wild and fun. Who gives a shit if it's true or not or whether it celebrates the celtics D or the "Kobe as God" mantra that all Lakers fans demand. I read an ESPN column the other day identified the six biggest keys to the series and Kobe was by far the top choice. If that is true, why wouldn't we focus on his every move and break down his mindset and wonder if he's straying from what has made him effective all year long? What other story matters is much?

DeNon said...

Your theory stinks bro,
you cant possibly know what an athlethe is thinking when he's teammates a clearly struggling on the biggest stage of them all.
you bring up the shot with 2 seconds left???
Well duh, he had to hoist up the shot in order to prevent a shot clock violation.
You guys need to go hug someone & stop the Kobe hating.
He had an off night, deal with it.

AO said...

The writer of this blog is a weird dude, not Kobe Bryant. For you to even come up with that assessment is strange, to say the least. Putting little stories, within events, that have no bearing nor have any factual basis. It's all just speculation. Although I believe you're entitled to your opinion, being the author. Having said that, you seem to me a typical hater who was waiting for this moment and relish the opportunity to unleash distasteful statements on Kobe. He doesn't need to please you or displease you, the media, nor does he mind your affection or opposition. This guy is about winning. As his career would attest. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I don't think he'd go too far and compromise a victory just to appease or to tease whoever thinks he overshoots, has been forcing shots, has been playing selfish ball or what have you. You'll see what I mean, when the finals is all said and done, and he beats YOUR Celtics. Also, the Jordan comparisons are realistic contrary to what you think. I mean honestly. Give the man his due. But that's another story.

Anonymous said...

"Look at his jersey 24.. geez!"

seriously? you think thats why he chose 24? you moron.

Anonymous said...

kobe dreaming of being the number one guy? uh, hasn't he been for the last couple of years?

this blog stinks. so many double standards that the blogger conveniently glosses over.

i guarantee you that if the jordan bulls were here instead of the lakers, jordan would have done the same thing. they're both competitive, and have killer instincts. when a crowd gets riled up like that, nothing gets players like these more excited than the prospect of shutting them up. and if you don't believe that jordan ever had that desire to stick it to the crowd, then you need to stop watching basketball.

Lakers24 said...

Are you kidding me? Jealous of Paul Pierce? That is a garbage statement and PP is no where near Kobe's level. It's funny how when the Lakers win everyone loves Kobe but when they PLAY BAD AS A TEAM everyone points the finger at KOBE. Lakers bench was outplayed and the Celtics big three dominated. THAT IS WHY THEY LOST. If you're going to blame Kobe then you have to blame the LAKERS as a team. And to all you Kobe haters.... stop denying the truth.... Kobe is the best player in the world!

Anonymous said...

Paul Pierce is irrelevant. Kobe wants the spot light and wants to be the hero regardless who steals his thunder.

LoverOfHoops said...

Wow, this was a pretty harmless theory all things considered. People need to calm down. I know I've played games where I've lost my focus for personal reasons and I actually tend to agree that might have happened. They are guarding each other, the crowd is going nuts for PP, I could see myself (or Kobe, or anyone) being driven to distraction.

Of course, that might not have been it at all, but I don't see why tossing out a reason is hurting anybody.

To the author - don't listen to the haters (ironic that people call someone a Kobe Hater and then proceed to be a hater). I've enjoyed many posts on this blog and while this wasn't my favorite, these are just Lakers fans looking to vent after a G1 loss.

Keep bloggin.

Adam Hoff said...

Thanks for all the comments. I won't dive into the debate except to say this was clearly stated as a theory and meant to be a conversation-starter in the blog world, not some Pulitzer-winning expose. Keep your shirts on, people. But anyway, I appreciate people voicing their opinions, whether in support or otherwise. Keep enjoying the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

you have a nice imagination, but if you believe that Kobe stepped on the court, assuming he would walk right into a jordan-esque finals game, you're wrong. If he assumed he would walk into good fortune, why does he have the work ethic he does? If I figure I can live until 96 without jogging a block, I'm probably not going to exercise. If Kobe assumes just because of he's Kobe Bryant he'll have a Jordan-esque performance he wouldnt put in all the time he does behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

i agree.. i love the lakers and hope they win. but kobe needs to get to lane and score.. not nearly as many jumpshots please. oh well the lakers played bad last game and i expect them to get game 2

taipan75 said...

I can only agree to certain aspects of your theory. Perhaps, Kobe did 'zone out'.

Phil Jackson, though would have too much experience in: The Finals, Coaching stars (i.e. MJ, KB, Shaq, Pip and even Gasol) and as Van Gundy commented during the game, "He's a master at taking time-outs - just like the one he just did to take away the momentum upon Pierce's return to the court". Phil would simply have walked up to KB over a time-out and told him, "look, we need you to step up - take your shots, make your shots".

Instead, Phil made little adjustments.

Remember how Phil would just let his players 'ride' through tough stretches just so they can gain experience in dealing with "When you're down..." situation?

I suspect while Phil knows it may not be KB's night, he chose to stay silent, or perhaps, even shared it with KB. He was willing to let this game get away. Why? He needs to study the Celtics well enough. After all, studying tape is only, well....tape. While I am not a Celtic fame (more of a fan of the game - period), hell, he (Phil) now knows three things:
1. "That's all they (the celtics got?"
2. "We can take them (maybe in four straight, wait, wait, maybe five - for ratings' purposes) after some minor adjustments"
3. "It's only game one...."

This game, was a 'gift' from Phil and KB to the Celtics. Can you see "Welcome to the Finals! Enjoy it, while it lasts..."?

Anonymous said...

Paul Pierce (tres leches) was trying to bring Hollywood to Boston. What a joke, there was no injury & even worse acting. It doesn't matter what the C's do, this series goes to the Lakers & this is the closest the big three will ever get to a championship (unless they wear purple & gold in the next 5 years) As pitiful as the Lakers played, they still had a chance to steal that game. The only reson they fell short was the open shots stopped falling. I don't credit any of that win to Boston & I wouldn't be surpised to see the Lakers sweep the next 4 in a row. No chance in [down south] that Kobe has this poor a shooting performance again & you can expect a retro ass whippin from this point forward. The only thing more certain than that, is the Lakers future over the next few years. So I say "good luck to you Boston" as you're not likely to have as sucessful a season next year and you're probably looking forward to another two decades or so before you can compete with the boys from the west coast.

Maury24. said...

C'mon u guys. r u guys serious but KOBE, or the lakers. i had alot of comments of the lakers 2day at work. All i hear today was how kobe playied last nite and a bunch of BS. all i told them was, the lakers didn't have win game 1. Boston did. y? cuz the had the home court. The pressure is on boston not on the lakers. Now when they go back to L.A. lets see who smile at the end. KOBE is the best player of the entire world and he will prove it to all the hater out there.

Ken Hanscom said...

Unfortunately a frivolous and a poorly constructed analysis filled with inaccurate conjecture. Even if you truly feel that way, your emotional response to Kobe is clouding the true occurrence last night.

Back to reality now, Kobe's shots did not go down in game 1. Bad for the Lakers, good for the Celtics.

Move on to game to and stop wasting your time with lame and half baked analysis. Let's talk about how much pressure there is on Boston to win game 2.

taipan75 said...

Naaaah....

I feel the only thing 'hollywood' is Kobe - he's probably the biggest 'hollywood' out there.

Yes, that attribute didnt show in Game 1 of the Finals. But havent you seen enough of his highlights / games where he did get the better of opponents of a jam or an impossible shot and he shows his bloody expression on his face? He's not your 'guy-who-gets-it-done' player. He's a showman.

I do not doubt his abilities - he's a phenomenal player, but Kobe, c'mon, enough with the 'didja-see-that-shot' facial expression already...That's why there're 'haters' out there.

Let this not be any sign of weakness, coz Lakers (Kobe, Phil and team) will get the job done. True comments be told, even if not this year, mebbe next - I mean, how many years can you bloody deny Kobe, Pau and Lamar?? Celtics - mebbe a flash in the pan - for now anyhow. The Celtics may, possibly, and that's a huge MAYBE collect this year's trophy, but then what?

Oh, and I still hate Ray Allen's smirk on his face when his shots dont fall - kinda like a puss / sour lemon...suck it up and play harder dude! thought you were a pro and a 'factor' on this team...

Anonymous said...

Kobe Bryant is Michael Jordan. There is nothing Jordan could do that Kobe can't. The only thing jordan has that Kobe doesn't is more championships and that is because of him having a better overall team for longer periods than Kobe has. And as far as Paul Pierce is concerned, I can't believe all of the hype and praise he gets. Kobe is twice the player Pierce will ever be yet the Lakers lose one game and everyone is blaming Kobe and making Pierce sound like the greatest player to ever live. And although Kobe didn't have a great game, it wasn't a bad game either. So if that was considered a bad game for Kobe, than just look out for when he has a good game like he will in game 2. Through this series i hope he will finally shut up all of the negative critics because he is truly one of the greatest players to ever be in the game and is just as good if not better than Jordan was.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Blame a star for wanting glory. So all the rest of the stars do what they do for the greater good of all humankind?

taipan75 said...

No, no, glory's fine when you play great. I'm just saying that it's the most probable reason there're Kobe 'haters' out there.

I think he plays great. I just wished he'd focus more on shifting into the 'next gear' rather than showmanship...I just think that it sometimes gets him carried away. But that's maturity that everyone says Kobe has developed, right...? Supposedly...

Anonymous said...

The writer of this article is a saint! He's achieved nirvana! His ego's completely dissolved! If the big media houses were to offer him a job he would pass the offer up because that would only re-ignite his now-extinguished-all-too-human desire for glory. He doesn't want too many people reading his article because he doesn't care for glory. He wishes he had penned this piece in his private journal--you see he doesn't want readers acknowledging his genius.

taipan75 said...

What has the "Writer of this article" gotta do with having achieved Nirvana or turning down big jobs or wanting the article any less read anyhow?

He's airing his possible explanation on the less-than-stellar showing by Kobe in Game 1.

I mean, is that to say you're a genius / rocket scientist for having deduced the statement about the writer of the article?

Twentyfour_sucks said...

Kobe Bryant has no leadership qualities. When he's flustered, he throws up bad shots and that certainly affects his teammates' mentality too. Serves him right, rapist.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the Lakers DID play well.. it was pretty much an even game throughout EVEN when Pierce made those 3's Lakers were only down by 3. This guy is pretty ignorant and dumb. Stop talking crap on Kobe we all know he is the best player on the planet. Have you noticed that when Ray Allen scored, it was becuase Kobe WASNT guarding him and he was open... when Kobe was guarding Allen, the coach took him out. and scored 0 on Kobe. yeah kobe took some rediculous shots .. but so did Pierce.. Pierce is very inconsistant.. Kobe will drop 30 points no matter what.. Pierce on the other hand... will either have a GREAT night.. or a very crappy one. And he needs to suck it up and stop being a baby.. kobe bryant nearly had a broken finger and still played pehnomenally.
The celtics are good. i admit that. but so are the Lakers. i highly doubt that the Celtics would have gotten the top seed if they were in the western conference.. and would not have easily beat the spurs as the Lakers did.. i meann.. comon.. the Atlanta Hawks game went to game 7?? thats pretty pathetic..
And hey... if YOU were being compared to michael jordan, im pretty sure that it will get to your head too.

Anonymous said...

twentyfour_sucks
hey. your really ignorant. You wish that you had everything kobe has.. money,, fame,,, beautiful wife.. and the title of the best player in the NBA. hes a freaken GREAT leader.. and a great player.. he has 3 rings.. how many do any of the celtics have? Garnett O, Allen 0, Pierce 0. thats right.. shut the hell up.go back to living your crappy life while he lives the good life.

Anonymous said...

lol. Kobe haters and everyone else. i think this is one of the best blogs i've ever read, and not because i personally believe it haha but because it was original and COULD be true lol. We all know Kobe is a glory hound out to prove himself to everyone. However he is very good at it and this season, though i personally believe Chris Paul should have been MVP, I'm not going to say Kobe didn't deserve it. He played the best "team ball" of his career this year. That said...before an legitimate comparisons to MJ can be made he needs to win a couple of championships as the top dog on his team - ala no Shaq. There is no doubt on those three championship teams that throughout the course of the game Shaq was the hero. MJ created his dynasty. If kobe has any luck he might inherit his.

Anonymous said...

The obvious effect of Paul Pierce's dramatic comeback is that it'll cause the Celtics the championship. Period. Paul Pierce is injured Lakers will have advantage no matter what you trying to say. What's wrong with having the strive for greatness when you have that chance? Kobe's the only player in the NBA right now that has that potential and everyone's just jealous. Kobe jealous? Please. Even if he is, it's just another motivation for him to get better, what's wrong with that? Michael also hates losing, I'm sure he would do the same thing as Kobe did in game 1, try to seal the game himself in crucial moments because they both have similar instincts. A harsh criticism and a ridiculous theory is what Kobe deserves for just losing an away NBA Finals game? Sure, the Celtics won because they SHOULD OF with the home court advantage they had. How dangerous will it be if the Lakers stole Game 1? The Lake show still have 1 more chance in Game 2. Going back to LA 3 games Lakers will close the deal 4-1 easily. The Celtics are living the dream right now, but they'll be waking up in chaos in no time. I don't know what's more bizarre (need a game 7 to beat a 37-45 Hawks team), Kobe or the Celtics?

Anonymous said...

C'mon people. You are making too much out of Kobe. He's a pretty good player considering all the shots he takes to get his points. But he's about as good as Scottie Pippen. Please don't compare him to someone like Jordan or even Magic.

Anonymous said...

you're an idiot.
this has got to be the stupidest article i've read in a while.

Anonymous said...

i do think that the article sais less about the celtics when they attack kobe saying he is selfish again..Celtics played a better game thats all nothing else..and please dont compare lebron to kobe again...lebron is not there yet so give it a rest

cloud said...

retard lol
i think we need a serious espn analyst makeover cuz these guys we have nowadays suck SO badly..
i can't stand watching all these reading all these biased, insubstantial articles that works with ZERO facts and just relies on witty comments written to convince retarded or just simple not educated fans to agree with their argument and further harden stereotypes of teams, media driven BS and players like kobe who gets his ass waxed anytime he doesn't play like god. i seriously can't handle this shit i really can't.. we need to form a committee petitioning the complete new makeover of sportswriters who know just what the hell they're talking about. And we also need to get rid of all these horse-shit stories that don't rely on simply "anonymous sources" with no logic in their argument.
And people say that we need to change the league because it is corrupt?!?!?! We need some committee that can track and get rid of bullshit articles like this.. I don't give a crap if kids write bs on their blogs but at least keep espn.com affiliated articles in check man.
If ur like me and wish that we can at least patrol this media bullshit plz let's get together and do SOMETHING about it.

Anonymous said...

Why is the article stupid? All of you wh ohave your heads jammed so far up Kobe's chocolate highway still refusing to believe he's not an arrogant selfish MJ wannabe? Oh please. The only reason why he LET Gasol flourish in LA was because he didn't have a MVP trophy to his case. Now comes the playoffs and you can clearly see Kobe is back to his old self. Have you been watching Laker games? lets check the Utah-LA series where Utah won its only game and check Kobe, who was hurt, jack up shot after shot after shot in the fourth and OT. I mean even his team mates had incredulous WTF looks on their faces. Kobe has always been about me first, team who? And this rticle is spot on.

Anonymous said...

You must not been watching the game or you mus not have played sports on a high level.. 1st off Kobe is on a different level so his mindset and approach to a game or situations during a game is not going to be as the normal athlete thinks. What I noticed is that Kobe had to use to much energy chasing Ray Allen around and trying to keep the Lakers from sinking too far behind. What we saw was a tiered Kobe who didn't manage the game well. Back to the game you must look at the prior possessions before Paul's injury Kobe was taking control of the game- If you didn't notice Paul got hurt behind a fade jumper Kobe hit over him- So when Paul came back he was still doing what he was doing b4 Paul got hurt- Kobe just ran out of gas and settled for jump shots

wayon said...

Well said. i agree with the analysis as well. Don't get me wrong, i'm a kobe fan (more a fan of his talent than his brain) but if it's up to him no one else gets a tan. As much as everyone has glorified his "Metamorphosis" i really don't think he has changed much. It's just that winning changes everything (as well as people's perceptual abilities). If you want further proof of his inability to tolerate other people's success, go back to game 1 in the nuggets series when Pau Gasol was having a big night. Kobe could've just stood back and enjoy the show. Instead he goes ballistic, jacking up bad shot after bad shot. Then in game 2 he went away from the triangle almost immediately. In a way we are all hypocrites because had he made those ridiculous shots ("bunnies") we would have glorified him once again instead we are forced to look beyond the facade. But it's like i said winning changes everything.

Anonymous said...

Kobe didn't make any worse decisions than he usually does. When the "crazy" shots go down, he's "brilliant, the best in the game, a cut above the rest, etc". When those shots don't go down, he's a bad decision maker. They just didn't fall in game one. I do agree, however that he longs for the MJ glory.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the "Kobe's the best in the world...stop hatin'KB" refrain over and over again. What all you Lakers fans seem to miss is that, we don't doubt Kobe's skills, we hate him because he is an ASSHOLE (on and off the court).

Everyone talks about how Kobe changed this year but if you watched the first half of the season, Lakers games were about the most boring thing on TV next to cspan. Kobe never passed the ball and took terrible shots all game long. Until later this season, Kobe played some of the ugliest basketball I have ever seen.

Also, How does someone score 81 points in a TEAM sport? You not only have to be extremely talented but you also have to be an extremely selfish asshole who takes way too many shots.

So...is it that unbelievable that the team-oriented Kobe that we have seen for the past few months is not the Kobe that played in the 4th quarter of game one...Well, i should probably stop hating because KB is the best in the world. LAKERS IN 4!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of the shots he missed, like Kobe said himself, were very makable shots for him. We've seen him take these shots in this post season and nail them and won games and the next day everybody talked about his heroics, the only difference is that in this game these shots went in and out of the basket.
Also, given the circumstances, late in game 1 of the NBA Finals, Lakers down but within striking distance, if you're the coach are you really going to tell me you wouldn't put the ball in Bryant's hands and let him do his thing? Or are you going to stick with the Bermuda triangle?

Anonymous said...

Read Phil's book. Enough said about Koby. Secondly, the Celtics have the best defense in the league this year and have proven it every game the played against the Lakers. The Celtics actually have a much better bench than the Lakers and match up against the Lakers better than any team they have played so far, including the Hawks. Celtics win the series as Koby goes more and more off the deep end as things progress. This is Koby's legacy, the selfish, me first player who will never be as good (not even close) as MJ.

Anonymous said...

lakers could have had the game. if it wasn't for Pierce's injury injecting the crowd with momentum, lakers probably would have stolen this one regardless.

Anonymous said...

Everybody needs to quit hating on Kobe. What does the man have to do to get respect? 3 rings, MVP, 1st all defense, 1st team all offense, Scored 81 points in one game, and leading the Lakers to the finals with an average team. If Kobe is not on this team, they don't even make the playoffs this year in the tough ass western conference. Damn! People are rediculous.

Justin said...

I'm glad you posted this because it's exactly what I saw happen. Up until Pierce had his moment and made those two threes, Kobe had been playing intelligent ball - taking good shots and facilitating really really well. After that? He's looking for his own shot. It's like those two threes were the calling card of a super-villian that no one else on his team had a chance of stopping. He wanted to ruin Pierce's moment and he wanted the history to show it as HIS work. As insanely talented as Kobe is, he still manages to have a higher opinion of himself than he is due. That's why he just isn't that efficient a player. If he's cold, he'll just keep shooting even when there are better options on the court. You'll never hear him say "yeah, I had a bad shooting night, so I wanted to make sure I got more rebounds and set my guys up more." Instead, you'll watch him put up an office building's worth of bricks and talk about how he was getting good looks that weren't dropping. Such a weird moment to watch.