I’m still recovering from getting literally knocked into next week with a crippling sinus infection. I couldn’t even get out of bed yesterday. Luckily, I was able to pull it together enough to get some much needed work done, and bring you this post right before this week’s slate of games.
But before I do, I’d like to say good riddance to Kobe Bryant, who finally decided he’s gonna hang up the laces. As soon as he announced this was his last year,in a poem (much like his airness of course), then all the talking heads tripped over themselves trying to get in line to suck the off the “Black Mamba.”
Somehow people forget that Kobe gave himself a nickname that stuck (the only other time I remember a case like this is the episode of Seinfeld where George calls himself “T-Bone”), that Kobe was one of the worst sports of all time–petulant even (This is a guy who ran a forearm to Mike Bibby’s face and bloodied his nose to get to the basketball–and Bibby got called for the foul).
This new narrative also forgets how Kobe threw all kinds of static towards Shaq’s way when #8 Kobe got himself into some trouble for some extra curricular affairs in Colorado. Kobe ran off Shaq from the Lakers because he wanted to be the “Top Dog”, and then cried like a little bitch when he was surrounded with sub-par talent.
All the shenanigans you see with Russell Westbrook today was groundwork laid by a young Kobe then. I can’t tell you how many times I saw Kobe get fouled, then push away an opponent’s hand when they tried to help him up after the foul.
This is the same dude who said he wanted to win, but wasn’t willing to sacrifice his money, his points, or his “status as top dog” in order to do so. He talked major shit about the majority of his teammates, and sure he could pass, but only when it was convenient for him (People forget about that series against the Suns where he ALLEGEDLY just let his team get behind big to prove a point).
Fuck Kobe Bryant’s 6 for 24, Finals MVP having ass (when it should Pau Gasol–even though he should have been called for pushing Rondo in the back during a critical rebound in game 7–Falcon Mike knows I’m right).
Now. All that being said, I can now say that the dude was a bad man, and definitely one of the baddest motherfuckers to ever pick up a basketball. Homie was like a jazz guitarist on the basketball court, a “me first” primadonna; but he also made the behind the scenes bullshit stop once the performance started.
I have always had mixed feelings towards Mr. Bryant. I was beginning my senior year in high school when he declared for the draft, and it fascinated me that someone roughly my age was about to get PAID. It was easy to keep tabs on him after that. I told my little brother that game 4 of the 2000 Finals was his coming out party, and sure enough he proved me right. # 8 Kobe was one of the sickest mothafuckas I’d ever seen play the game, and he deserves all the accolades (and yes there were many versions of Kobe).
The man is a 17 time All-Star, 12 time All Defender, 15 Time All NBA-er, two time Olympian, 5 time NBA Champion, snazzy dresser, multi-lingual, player who left everything on the court. As an old man, I respect him still going out there and getting his head beat in for the love of the game (shit I do it for free), but the part of me who wants to watch good product just wants him to quit already.
Big ups to Kobe, for his long and brilliant career, but can’t send him out the door as if the guy was a sterling example of the kind of ballplayer I’d want my (fictional) child to be like. Big salute to the second best shooting guard to ever play the game, just as long as the salute is a middle finger. And for the record, I still have not seen the 81 point game.
This week’s Slate:
Two teams in the east that have been loads more entertaining this season as opposed to last. Big ups to Reggie “I don’t like OKC fans anymore” Jackson for getting Eastern Conference Player of the Week. One day two junior high school kids will be in a gymnasium shooting baskets, and one of them will say “Did you know that Reggie Jackson used to be Russell Westbrook’s backup on the Oklahoma City Thunder?”
Then the other kid will say, “There was a team in Oklahoma City?” I’m kind of kidding. That would be the second biggest tragedy to ever hit that city.
Two really fun backcourts.
Dirk vs. The Zinger.
Tap. That. Vein. I’ll be watching the condensed version of this tomorrow during my plan period probably.
Hickory High vs. Warriors (Good Ass Game of the Week)
If you saw last week’s Hornets-Warriors affair, then you were in for a treat. Sometimes the “Good Ass Game of the Week” isn’t always a buzzer beater. Sometimes it means a player just goes crazy in a quarter and his shot montage burns itself into your retinas. I missed the Cleveland-New Orleans game on Friday when Lebron got 24 in the 4th, but I’m okay with that. You know why? Because I got to see Steph Curry pour on 40 in 3 quarters of play, while only missing 4 shots. By the way, it was Dell Curry night in Charlotte, and Cam Newton (this year’s NFL MVP) was in attendance.
If the Warriors are going to lose on this road trip, this is the prime place for them to get plucked.
Never a dull moment with these two teams.
Did you ever as a high school upperclassmen, sort of pick a fight between two freshman? and then when it was over, leave with a little respect for both participants, like “Yeah you little busters got some heart. Respect.”? Ummm. Me either.
But that’s how I feel about this particular game.
Even without Kawhi it’ll be a good ass game.
Sure. Why not?
People may not admit this, but Willie Cauley-Stein really adds some length on defense. I don’t think it is an accident that they having been giving up even more points since he broke his finger.
My homie says this is when the Golden Shower stops.
The last time someone tried to do magic on a dead animal this happened.
San Antonio- Atlanta
This time I promise it will be competitive.
Golden State vs. Milwaukee
When I say this is going to be the longest game in recent memory, I don’t mean the duration. Both squads have very long wings and very tall backcourts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bucks took the Warriors to the precipice of losing.
Tap That Vein if you must. But be aware that there is a world out there waiting for you to show it your beautiful face.
Big Ups of the Week:
Goes out to Luke Walton for winning NBA Coach of the Month after going 0-0 in Steve Kerr’s absence. This son of NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton (whose enthusiasm for basketball inevitably rubbed off on me–read his autobiography–it ain’t bad.) went to U of Arizona and played for Lute Olson (like the coach he is subbing for), then got to the NBA and played for Phil (much like the coach he’s subbing for).
The dude also has a pretty good tie game. He has yet to wear a bad suit on the sideline this season. Gotta give it up to the guy, plus he was one of my favorite passing big men to play the college game. I’ve got nothing but respect for the guy (even though I would have tried to talk him out of this photo shoot–but hey who didn’t do regrettable things when they were 22?).
May the “good ass game alert” texts never stop coming this week.