True Hoops

True Hoops

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who is holding me?

I have always felt Kobe Bryant is one of the best bad-shot makers, if not the best, of all time.

The degree of difficulty on many of his shots over the years have been off the charts, sometimes unnecessarily so. But hey, he makes a lot of them in pressure situations and its not like opposing teams are going to make it easy for him.

Kobe for sure has to be the best at willing his shots to go in. whether it be over, or perhaps even through his defenders.

Take the other night for instance:

Did you get a chance to see the look of exasperation on Brandon Roy's face? What more could he do? (By the way, how is he even playing after coming off of surgery this year to implant cartilage into both of his knees?)

Roy was in Kobe's body the whole way, forcing him to a corner fade away jumper going to his right (harder for right handed players). And he had a hand in his face.

That was great defense.

Sometimes great offense beats great defense.
It would have been interesting to see that play with a taller defender on Kobe.

Kobe makes these types of shots all the time. That doesn't make this one any less special. But what made this shot extra-special was Kobe's antics afterward....

I have this joke with a friend of mine. When someone makes a big play and shows no emotion afterwards, we say: "like he does it on the reg" (reg = regular, i.e. on a regular basis). Normally when a player is used to making these types of shots/plays - it's nothing new to them and therefore they don't have to go crazy. Depending on the context, showing little to no emotion after a big play can be hilarious (after dunking on someone) or reverential (Jordan's championship winner at Utah in '98).
Only novices put on dramatic performances.

Kobe is certainly not a newbie when it comes to being a closer, so why all the fireworks?
Why all the explicitness? (care to guess what he was saying?)
What's with all the trying to rip his shirt off? Is this the WWF?
For goodness sake hide the children.

For Kobe, I prefer the Snarl look

For Kobe, I prefer the black mamba the Black Mamba.
A look when he knows he is so cool and such a bad ass that there is no need to get demonstrative because it is known he going to save the day no matter what.
In the fact, the day has already been saved.

Sometimes you say more when you say less.

Mind you, this recent display is coming after the show he put on in south beach by taking jumpers for 90 minutes on the Heat's court right after the Lakers lost to the Heat.

Is this a symptom of his advancing age? Is kobe losing it?
Is Kobe too intense?

Or......or......Ah Chaaah!!!

Maybe this isn't the time to be cool.
Is going over the top like this the way he is getting the best out of his team?  The Lakers are 11-1 since the break. If seen in this light, maybe it's not so bad, especially when considering Jordan sometimes punched his teammates to get the best out of them.

Or...... perhaps this is the way he is making himself better. Or I should say keeping himself great and therefore potentially becoming greater. Maybe this is how he is staying motivated, or more practically, how he is playing through the wear and tear in his body after enduring 15 seasons in the league.
How can we argue with the results?
You think Brandon Roy would argue with them?

I have heard Kobe say in an interview: "I want to be considered an overachiever." "I want people to say that I squeezed every last drop of juice out of this orange."

And that is just it. How much juice does Kobe have left? If we define a player's basketball prime years according to the Jordan standard (a universally accepted metric system) - then it is from age 28-32 (there are always exceptions to the rule). Kobe is 32 and therefore theoretically in the  last year of his basketball prime.

This may be his last best chance to win another championship.
Kobe knows the Heat is coming, both literally and figuratively.

And this is what I LOVE about what he is doing.

I have also heard Kobe recently say: "the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter." "Retirement isn't around the corner...but it's down the block."

Kobe knows this. He sees it. He senses it.
So in response Kobe is going ALL IN.
If this is it, then he is going ALL out giving EVERYTHING he has, holding nothing back.
It may be a sports cliche, but how many times does it really happen?

How many of us can say we have the balls to do that?

Kobe is saying F-it.
He has waited 15 years to earn the right to get to this point. He has waited his whole career, his whole life for this moment. This prime moment.

Kobe is playing the game by himself both mentally and historically.
This is about legacy.

He has already caught Magic, now he is trying to catch Mike.
This is his passion, his dream, his goal. His moment for history.
If loving the Lord is wrong, he don't want to be right.

Who are we to judge him for that?

Kobe, you're almost there homie. Keep pushing.

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