Friday, June 13, 2008

Kobe NOT Jordan

Last night was the last time I drink any Kool-Aid those sports reporters give about Kobe Bean Bryant being the second coming of Michael Jordan. Jordan would not have blown a 24-point lead in the NBA FINALS!

Let me tell Kobe and all his fans out there with a pun from Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s words to Dan Quayle. Kobe: I’ve watched Michael Jordan played since I was a kid; I saw his awe-inspiring moves and Kobe, YOU’RE NO MICHAEL JORDAN.

Here I was perched in front of my TV, and I but called game 4 for the Lakers because of their lightening speed against the Celtics even into halftime. I thought the Lakers must have been fired up about another Finals history in the Miami Heat (can’t help it – I’m a fan) just two years ago. After a near 0-3 deficit, the Heat got some boost from the incomparable Dwyane Wade to win game 3, then game 4 was all she wrote.

The Miami Heat was beating the Dallas Mavericks so bad to a 25 point lead even into the fourth quarter to the point of anger shown from the Mavericks Jerry Stackhouse’s flagrant foul against Shaquille O’Neal. Some commentators then felt Stackhouse had to do it because the Heat wouldn’t let up the embarrassment. But I say nay, during the Playoffs especially for the Finals, you go for the KILL. As the great Pat Riley said, if you exhale for one minute in the playoffs while leading, you might find yourself down 10 points.

Before the halftime, I knew something was wrong with the Lakers with all the celebration on the sidelines by the teammates as if they’ve won the championship. It proved a bit distracting and the Celtics took advantage of it but the Lakers made another run again and I felt the game was almost over.

But boy was I wrong, I came back in the fourth quarter and the scores were tied between both teams, then afterwards Celtics was leading by four points late into the game. Are you freaking kidding me! I didn’t see the end of the game (I turned the channel about 42 seconds left) till this morning and when I saw Celtics’ Paul Pierce pounding his chest, without seeing the scores I knew Celtics won.

What went wrong? A lot! First, what happened to the Lakers Lamar Odom’s hot hand? Any basketball aficionado knows when a guy is hot; PLEASE keep passing him the ball. Odom went seven of seven into halftime – what do you spell that? P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Not to talk of the eight rebounds and three assists. So how in the world, do you make him disappear in the remaining two quarters taking only four shots? Explain that!

Second, how in the world did a guy like Sasha Vujacic take more shots (four in the fourth quarter) than the star player (Kobe Bryant who took three shots)? Hel-lo, I don’t care if Sasha calls himself the Machine; he still comes off the bench for a reason.

Third, NEVER underestimate your opponent. The Lakers did just that last night. The Celtics had the best record in the league for a reason. Besides, check out a few people on the Celtics team: James Posey (who I almost cried for leaving the Heat) was an instrumental part of the NBA Finals just two seasons ago. Hel-lo, check out the team he was on; they WON.

Paul Pierce, who led what I thought the biggest comeback (until last night) of a playoff game six years ago; he kinda know what he’s doing from coming from behind don’t you think? Eddie House (another former Heat-er), when healthy, one of the deadliest shooters in the league. P.J. Brown (one more former Heat guy, who was part of the “Road Warriors” Season). Time will not permit to talk of Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett.

Finally, whatever happened to one critical skill called “DEFENSE?” Obviously there was none being played for you to blow a 24-point lead. If the shots are not falling; you do everything you can to guard, take a charge, and block something; anything. Too bad the other team (Celtics) was the only one playing with such skill.

Tags: Kobe Bryant, NBA Finals, Lakers