Kobe Bryant remains Kobe Bryant. He keeps sounding like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse — “pain don’t hurt” — and believing that he can carry the Lakers to a title regardless of the roster.
So is anyone shocked at his post-game comments Tuesday, reported by the Orange County Register, after the Lakers finally got in the win column against Utah?
“Shoulda won all three,” Bryant said.
Well… they really “shoulda” beat the Bulls — if you are up 11 points with less than four minutes left in the game you should win. But the Bulls were the team that played like the veterans down the stretch, they made their shots while Pau Gasol and Josh McRoberts clanged free throws. Kobe got caught in a trap at midcourt and overreacted with a jump pass (although Gasol or someone should have been moving toward him) that led to a steal. Then there were the final shots — Derrick Rose drove the lane, saw the long help defenders coming and rose up for a sweet 8-foot floater; Kobe drove the lane, saw the long help defenders coming and tried to drive through and over them, and he got his shot blocked.
Against the Kings the Lakers were unimpressive all night but made a late run to make it close — then gave up an 8-0 run at the end and the Kings got the win. Against the Jazz the Lakers played with the desperation and energy they needed against the Kings.
The Lakers had their chances so in Kobe’s mind they shoulda. But realistically, a back-to-back-to-back without Andrew Bynum was going to yield one loss, maybe two. The real question is how the Lakers grow and adapt to Mike Brown’s system. The question is how they defend — which has been pretty good so far — because with Bynum back soon the Lakers will score.
The offense isn’t smooth yet (and relies too much on Kobe) but it’s all about time. It’s about the Lakers and their fans showing patience. Good luck with that.
Steve Kerr missed the first half of last season with debilitating back pain, and in his quest to find pain relief he admitted he tried marijuana (which was legal for medicinal use in the state at the time). It didn’t work well for him, he added.
But Kerr also talked about how professional sports leagues, where the players are dealing with a lot of pain management (particularly the NFL and NHL), need to start viewing marijuana differently than they did a generation ago.
Draymond Green has his coach’s back, via Chris Haynes of ESPN. Although, not with the best pro-pot argument I’ve ever heard.
We’re just going to let this go because his heart is in the right place. It’s kind of like the scene in Animal House: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!” “Germans?” “Forget it, he’s rolling.”
Green was also rolling when he started going in on the league’s crackdown on unnatural acts.
Draymond, so you know, here’s the link to Kiki Vandeweghe’s basketball-reference.com page. He’s not just the guy who hands out fines.
It almost fits the song: “All I wants for Christmas is healthy knees, healthy knees, healthy knees.”
Chandler Parsons took to Twitter to answer questions from fans, and there were a few good answers in there but my favorite was this one:
Parsons has played in just six games for the Grizzlies this season, missing the start of the season to recover from off-season knee surgery, then now he has missed the last eight games with a knee bone bruise. The banged up Grizzlies could really use his shot creation back in the lineup.
As for other good questions/answers there was this combo, with a little help from ESPN’s Zach Lowe:
And then there’s this for the haters.
Who doesn’t love a good dunk compilation?
Well, somebody probably just said “bah, humbug” but is that the person you really want to hang out with?
The fine folks at NBA.com put together the Top 10 dunks of October and November, and when Rudy Gobert dunking over Kristaps Porzingis is all the way down at 10, you know it’s a good list. Put off starting your Christmas shopping, at least for another 2:44, and watch the video.
Want to watch Chance the Rapper throw dodgeballs at mascots? Of course you do. How is that even a question?
Above you can see just that from Chicago Friday night (where Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and the Bulls knocked off the Cavaliers). Benny the Bull is on his side as well, while the Cubs’ mascot and others try and stay out of the way.
I’ll take this over another kids’ dribbling contest any day.