Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, January 30, 2006

When Kobe plays a great team

Previously at Sweaty Men Endeavors:

"Man. Y can't ya'll accept greatness as it is?

"Haters need to shut up."

"This is probably just straight out Kobe hating."

"It's pretty damn sad that no matter what Kobe does he is still gonna get hated on."

You know, being called a "hater" last week hurt me. My mother and sister shook their heads and told me I wasn't raised that way. Friends called me up and asked what had happened to the man they once knew. Little kids kicked me in the shins. Dogs pooped on my lawn. Worst of all, people left me alone at the bar while I cried over many, many shots of whiskey. Alone, with my tears.

So I took a long dip in "Lake Me," and pondered what I wrote about Kobe Bryant. If I preferred to point out Kobe's selfishness, calling him a "ball hog," rather than appreciate his 81 points, what kind of a basketball fan was I? What kind of person did that make me?

Kobe's performance was almost the greatest individual scoring total in NBA history. Yet he accumulated those 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, who are currently tied for the third-worst record in the league. (Which team are they tied with? Larry Brown's New York Knicks. Uh-oh. What's that I taste in my morning coffee? Is that hatorade?)

But what would happen when Kobe played a real team, one with the best record in the NBA? This is the true story, of two teams, picked to play in an arena, oppose each other, and have their game taped. To find out what happens, when players stop being being polite, and start getting real. Last night, at the Palace of Auburn Hills, was the real world.

And in the real world, Kobe is a phenomenal talent. Racking up 39 points against what's probably the best defense in the NBA is certainly impressive. However, approximately 17 of those points were scored against Detroit's second-string defenders, while Tayshaun Prince was on the bench. And he needed 28 shots to get that total (and, really, when you take the fouls into consideration, it was around 35 shots), which was twice the number of anyone else in the Lakers' lineup. But as many pointed out last week, I wouldn't pass the ball to Kwame Brown, either. (Kwame's shot total? Two. But in fairness, the other starters shot in double figures. And Kobe had one more assist than he did last week, so you know he's trying.)

Basketball is a beautiful game when one guy runs into three or four defenders and throws up a shot while three of his teammates stand wide-open, isn't it? But hey, Kobe scored baskets in several of those instances. To not acknowledge that (or point out any three-pointers taken 25 feet away from the basket) is, quite frankly, straight-out hatin'. And I don't want to be a hater. It's too expensive to buy all that whiskey while wallowing in self-loathing.

On the other side of the court, however, the team that was actually built as a team, not an individual showcase for a glory hog, had each of its starters score in double figures. And at the end of the game, the Pistons tallied more points, which resulted in a win. How about that? Detroit 102, Los Angeles 93. That was Detroit's 11th straight win, by the way. And they're 37-5 on the season. The Lakers are 23-20.

Does pointing that out make me a hater?

"Best team in the league right now," Kobe said to the L.A. Times after the game. "Not much to say."

Actually, Kobe, I think you said it all.

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2 Comments:

  • At January 30, 2006 10:38 AM, Blogger Big Al said…

    Hater! Kobe's a team player, he had 3 assists! Count 'em, 3! Now can't we all just get along?

    Seriously, if there was such a thing as a quiet 39 points, we saw it last night.

     
  • At January 30, 2006 1:23 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    That is about the best way to sum it up if you ask me there goofy white guy, a quiet three points. Hey, speaking of being a hater, where are all the lovers today? I mean they grace us with their presence wheh he scores 81 and we hate, but when his total and obvious greed comes to the fore front against a team they hide in the shadows.

    Look, I am sorry, how can anyone defend him? A great individual talent? Yes, even as a hater I can see that, but the key word their is indivdual. Until he learns that even MJ worked with Wil Perdue, Bill Cartright, BJ Armstrong, Paxson, Kerr... those arre not exactly jersey sellers folks! But the point is MJ at least made them feel like they had a use, where as Kobe just wants his team mates to stand "over there, on the opposite side of the court, away from me."

    I never saw a player, talented or not, shot thru three or four defenders before, it was embarrassing to the game of basketball... sorry, that is what Kobe is, an embarrassment to the game of basketball.

    Proud to be a hater bitches, get over it!

     

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