KB8 Blog: The Big PictureWritten on 12/22/2008
It's been a long time since my last blog entry. I guess it's easier to say what you really feel when the times are tough, and right now, even though we are sitting on top of the Western Conference mountain, many fans believe that we are on a long road towards the basketball apocalype. In the matter of two weeks, we've gone from a team that could potentially take down not only the entire league, but the record set by the Bulls during Jordan's peak of dominance. While I admittedly was a believer in the aforementioned possibilities at one point or another, I'm starting to see the big picture -- sometimes a little adversity is a good thing.
Although the Finals was a lost cause back in June, many Laker fans entered the season believing that we were the undisputed favorites going into training camp. After all, our big man savior had returned to mask our previous deficiencies that were exposed, so certainly there would be no reason for concern, right?
There is a reason why the games are played. On paper we look unstoppable, but against Miami and Orlando, we have been, well... stopped. Those two punches to the mouth have made everyone on CL whine, moan, and complain for good reason, but at the same time, do you really want L.A. to win every single game they play and think that it's impossible for them to be defeated? That kind of swagger is great to have when you've accomplished something (like the Celtics), but when you are still looking to become the greatest, it's important to have the mindset that you're not the greatest. Without accomplishing anything, how dare we think that every opponent is going to bow down to us and allow us to crush them into submission? We've been going into games thinking that these NBA level talents are going to just let us win, and frankly, that is not the mindset of a champion. We've been humbled, but we still aren't humble enough to go out there and play hard for 48 minutes a game.
As I said before, L.A. has been winning games purely based on talent. We do not seem to "want it" right now. Our players have bought into their own hype, which gives them the belief that they are going back to the Finals regardless and the only series that's going to matter is the one against the Celtics. Personally, I wouldn't mind the Lakers losing a few more games like the embarrassments of late, because the big picture will only enter their minds that way.
Kobe Bryant stated that you're never certain to get back to the Finals. I just hope that he can implement that message to the rest of his team, because they seem to think they are a lock to return.