“He’s inspired not only songs, but he’s inspired me in life in general just the way he attacks things, the way he never backs down, the way he fights through injury. …. I believe he’s the greatest player to touch a basketball.”
—Lil’ Wayne, being interviewed at Staples Center during Game 5 of the playoff series against Denver Tuesday. (Hat tip to IamaGM.)
That game is what divides people about Kobe on the court — he was both the only reason the Lakers were in it and why they got away from what won them three games in the series. He scored 43 points and because the other Lakers were passive in that game he willingly took on more and more of the offense to push for the win — he had 32 shots, the rest of the starters had 34 combined. The Lakers got away from beating Denver on the inside. Late in the game Kobe helped he Lakers make it close with three straight three pointers in the final 2:30, but then he missed his last three shots in the final minute, each more difficult than the last. What you think of Kobe’s performance in that game speaks to what you really think of Kobe.