Kobe Thread: Bucher- Kobe = Father of Team USA Success p.819

Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby jlkr on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:03 pm

I wouldn't say completely. How often did we see him yo-yo'ing the ball and looking over his shoulder the way he does today? He did that a lot in the triangle days. Only difference is he's now thinking pass first instead of shoot first.

But yes I agree the transformation to the consistent "pass first" mentality is rather stunning in that it has lasted this long and now looks likely the rest of the way.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Aonex on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:05 pm

Was this posted already?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/ne ... rd-lakers/

Kobe's confident in Lakers: 'We will make the playoffs'

They could've had Magic Johnson do it, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or maybe Jerry West. Heck, they could've trotted Jack Nicholson out there. This is a franchise, after all, dripping with Big Names. But there was Kobe Bryant, wireless microphone in hand, standing at center court to say goodbye -- on behalf of the Lakers' organization -- to Dr. Jerry Buss before Wednesday night's game against the Celtics at the Staples Center. It was a task that required the face of the franchise, 2013. And so there is no doubt that that face is No. 24.

Bryant did a good job, too. He was obviously emotional, but he kept his poise and told it short and sweet. And so did the "second half" of the NBA season, otherwise known as the final 28 games, begin on a bittersweet note for the desperate Lakers.

[JENKINS: Jerry Buss fueled Lakers' success]

They could hardly have gotten a better start, a 113-99 victory over their hated rivals -- ah, how Dr. Jerry appreciates the delicious historical poetry there -- that featured seven players in double figures. Lakers were crashing the boards, diving on the floor, helping each other up and slapping hands, all of it belying the reality of a team that was in serious disarray -- strategic and chemical -- going into the break.

But the ninth-place Lakers -- who are 3½ games behind No. 8 Houston in the Western Conference -- should hold off on issuing the playoff tickets just yet. If you can't beat your hated rivals with a newly printed JB on your chest, an homage to the man who was probably the greatest owner in the history of sports, you might as well mail in the rest of February and all of March. This game was tailor-made for the Lakers, and they tailored it.

I tried to measure it against what I had seen in Los Angeles during a week of reporting a story for this week's Sports Illustrated. (Click here to subscribe to the magazine.) There has been much talk about Dwight Howard, who had a sweet game on Wednesday with 24 points and 12 rebounds in only 30 minutes, but, when you talk Lake Show, you have to first talk Bryant.

And one of the things I noticed about him last week was that he had absolutely not tuned out on the season. Not that he should -- he's making almost $28 million this season -- but he remains outwardly upbeat and confident.

[Photo Gallery: Rare pictures of Kobe Bryant]

At Lakers practice after a 1-for-8 shooting night against Phoenix on Feb. 12, Bryant stayed on the court for an extra 45 minutes, working on face-up and turnaround jumpers. "I could just reach out and block one of those," a reporter said to Bryant as he neared the baseline where the media horde awaited him.

"I got 30,000 reasons you'd never get close to blocking that s---," Bryant said, referring to a career point total that has grown to 30,949, fifth all time. He smiled quickly and kept moving on, never missing a beat.

Later, as he toweled down and sat for an interview, he was asked if he had a certain shooting routine.

"Absolutely," he said. "I go from spot to spot. Today I quit when I made 400 shots."

"How do you know?" I said.

"What do you mean, How do I know?" Bryant said. "I know because I counted them."

Here are a few outtakes from the interview with Bryant, who, among other things, said the Lakers would make the playoffs and cited a game they lost as part of the reason for his confidence.

SI: In a perfect world, would this offense look like it did with you and Shaq when you won three consecutive titles in the early 2000s?

Bryant: Nah, different personalities, different personnel. With this team, we have to mix it up. But all of it is predicated off of penetration. We just have to read the defense better. We have to find different things every night and make them work. We do have the talent do that.

SI: The pick-and-rolls that [coach Mike] D'Antoni wants you to run and [Steve] Nash wants you to run, but Dwight doesn't seem inclined to ... didn't you do a lot of pick-and-rolling with Shaq?

Bryant: We did. But it was different. We initiated the triangle offense from screen-roll action. It was a way for us to get into our offense.

SI: Against Phoenix, you took only eight shots, none in the first half besides one where you got fouled. Were you trying to prove anything to anybody who has said, or hinted, that he wasn't getting enough touches? [That was a not-so-subtle reference to Howard.]

Bryant: Absolutely not. Even when I gave it up in transition, it was because nobody expected me to pass that ball, right?

SI: You've kind of gone to a facilitator role. Did you think you'd be scoring less in D'Antoni's offense?

Bryant: Actually, it was the opposite. I thought I'd be doing what I do best and what Mike was telling me to do, which is score. But that wasn't going to play to our strengths. We needed another facilitator, another passer. I think that changed the course of our team.

[Note: D'Antoni still gets nervous when Bryant becomes too much of a passer, and will gladly take Kobe's wild beat-the-clock shots that come along with that.]

I also think some of our guys, because they were young, were worried about their scoring opportunities. "I'm not playing as many minutes. I'm not getting enough touches." I think when they saw me sacrifice the way I have, then maybe they thought that they shouldn't concern themselves so much with touches and things like that. "If he's averaging 30 and he's willing to drop, I'm willing to sacrifice, too." That was the more important message.

SI: Dwight hasn't been the happiest of campers. How about your rep for being tough on teammates? Is that part of it?

Bryant: Look, I talk to him all the time. In his ear all the time, not so much now but early on. Pushing him quite a bit. That's just how I am.

[The talk turned to Bryant's days in Italy, where he grew up from ages 6 to 13. Among the players he idolized was D'Antoni, then a star in the Italian League.]

Bryant: Sure, Mike was a top guard over there and I remember him well. Maybe me following him has been a little overblown, but I liked his game. I feel fortunate that I was in Italy when AAU basketball [got big] over here. They stopped teaching kids fundamentals in the United States, but that didn't affect me. Over there, it wasn't about competition and traveling around and being a big deal; it was about fundamentals, footwork, spacing, back cuts -- all of those things. When I came back it was about acclimating myself to the competition, but I had all the fundamentals they didn't have. Look at Pau Gasol. Same thing. Look at all the skills he has compared to the guys who grew up playing AAU ball.

SI: Can you get this done? And is it hard that after winning five championships you're battling to make the playoffs?

Bryant: It's not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone -- Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver ... whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.

SI: OK, that's you, who has never been known for lack of confidence.

Bryant: But I'm not talking about just me. Us as a group. We will make the playoffs. And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game [a 107-97 loss in Miami on Feb. 10]. We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass. OK, they have two great players [LeBron James and Dwayne Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it.

*****

The subtext of the conversation with Bryant -- almost any conversation involving the Lakers these days -- was about the rift between him and Howard. It is not a "rumored rift" or an "alleged rift." It's a rift. It's absolutely reparable, but it absolutely exists. One anecdote might help explain it.

[Report: Dwight Howard mocked KobeBryant at All-Star Weekend?]

As I stood courtside at Staples Center in Los Angeles with an NBA assistant coach last week, the subject of Howard came up. He knew I had been working on a story about the Lakers so he asked me: "What's going on with Dwight?"

"Well, it's complicated," I said. "Dwight's just ... I mean, I don't know him personally that well, but when I watch him ... it's just ... I see him the locker room and ..."

"Let me say it for you," the coach said. "Dwight's a clown."

"And that is a problem," I added, "because Kobe doesn't do clown real well."

Bryant and Howard have advanced along parallel tracks in their respective careers. Their résumés, their styles, their essences have never diverged. Howard, 27, seized our attention with his prodigious physical gifts but just as much with his wide smile, friendly manner and outsized "Superman" act. Kobe, 34, seized our attention with his Hall of Fame game, built both on athleticism and fundamentals, and his sometimes surly, arrogant nature. Howard became a star partly because we liked his demeanor, and Kobe became a star in spite of himself. Howard is "friendly" and "approachable," while Bryant is "arrogant" and "off-putting." It's more complicated than that, but those are the broad strokes.

But the thing about Bryant? He has endured. He hasn't changed all that much. He rarely apologizes or goes all smiley-face. He never goes clown. And that kind of attitude comes with a public-relations price.

He and Howard don't have to become hangout buddies over the rest of the season. That rarely happens with Kobe and his teammates anyway, and it is sure as heck is not going to happen now. But perhaps all the talk will spur action. The screens that Howard sets will have some oomph to them, as they did on Wednesday. Bryant, and, just as importantly, Nash, will trust Howard to make a play on the blocks. Perhaps the childish smile-to-the-press or mope-to-the-press act that Howard goes into far too often will be curtailed, as might Bryant's pointed barbs at Howard, who, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak, is the cornerstone piece of the Lakers' future.

Players don't have to love each other. But what they must do is put aside differences and trust each other on the court.

Wednesday was a good start for the playoff push. But, with Houston's comeback victory over Oklahoma City, the dismembering of the Celtics also amounted to a running-in-place W. There is much work ahead, many questions remaining, and no doubt much drama still to be played out.

Jack McCallum is the author of Dream Team and the Sports Illustrated Book of the Apocalypse.
In the real world, the day Steph awoke at 9 a.m. to begin his Ustream show, Kobe Bryant probably awoke at the same time, even if it was 6 a.m. in California, and lifted weights.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby therealdeal on Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:41 pm

Players don't have to love each other. But what they must do is put aside differences and trust each other on the court.

This is what I've been saying all along.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby JoelMyersScrotalSack on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:50 pm

KB24 wrote:
ShowtimeACB wrote:Kobe is 1/34 on 3pt shots since january 21st :man4:

without being too negative...

thats the worst statistic I have ever seen in relation to Kobe Bryant.

1 for 34 is basically the boldest of all proofs that someone can't shoot 3s. Because I think out of the 400+ NBA players, every single one of them can hit at least twice as many.

There are 2 alternatives and two alternatives only.

Don't shoot them...or hit more than 3%. At this point I'm ready to completely eliminate the 3 point shot from Kobe's arsenal...he has been abysmal for several years now from the outside. There is only so much credit you can get for being a great player or a great scorer.


:man3:

He was shooting 36% from 3 taking over SIX bloody attempts a game through 40 games. These last 15 games or so he took on the facilitator role and has reduced his 3 point attempts to barely 2 a game. He's simply not actively looking for that shot anymore and as a result he doesn't have the rhythm to make them. . And guess what, we're playing our best basketball of the season with this Kobe. His 3 point shot is far down the list of my concerns
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby CaCHooKa Man on Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:11 pm

id bet at least 80% of those missed 3s lately are bail out shots that he has to shoot because he gets passed the ball with less than 5 seconds left
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby FabFourLakers on Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:18 pm

JoelMyersScrotalSack wrote:
KB24 wrote:
ShowtimeACB wrote:Kobe is 1/34 on 3pt shots since january 21st :man4:

without being too negative...

thats the worst statistic I have ever seen in relation to Kobe Bryant.

1 for 34 is basically the boldest of all proofs that someone can't shoot 3s. Because I think out of the 400+ NBA players, every single one of them can hit at least twice as many.

There are 2 alternatives and two alternatives only.

Don't shoot them...or hit more than 3%. At this point I'm ready to completely eliminate the 3 point shot from Kobe's arsenal...he has been abysmal for several years now from the outside. There is only so much credit you can get for being a great player or a great scorer.


:man3:

He was shooting 36% from 3 taking over SIX bloody attempts a game through 40 games. These last 15 games or so he took on the facilitator role and has reduced his 3 point attempts to barely 2 a game. He's simply not actively looking for that shot anymore and as a result he doesn't have the rhythm to make them. . And guess what, we're playing our best basketball of the season with this Kobe. His 3 point shot is far down the list of my concerns



KB24, you know I got love for you man, but jesus, overreaction much?!?!
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby checkers09 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:16 am

Image
Image

“We are not playing for one season, but for the memory of a great man.” — Kobe Bryant

Yet as I watched him Monday, I could not help think how little it mattered and how right he is. He is not fading into the shadows. He does not know how to go out that way.[.]
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Lakerjones on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:51 am

jlkr wrote:I wouldn't say completely. How often did we see him yo-yo'ing the ball and looking over his shoulder the way he does today? He did that a lot in the triangle days. Only difference is he's now thinking pass first instead of shoot first.

But yes I agree the transformation to the consistent "pass first" mentality is rather stunning in that it has lasted this long and now looks likely the rest of the way.


^^ Yes, very true. I agree, it's not that he never did it before, but as you said the transformation to pass first really has been remarkable.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby SK8 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:01 pm

Mark Cuban Suggests Lakers Consider Using Amnesty On Kobe Bryant

http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/226338/Cuban-Suggests-Lakers-Consider-Using-Amnesty-On-Kobe
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Weezy on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:15 pm

:man10: of course he'd love that, he'd be right there bidding on Kobe with everyone else if it happened.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Chillbongo on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:15 pm

Yeah, right.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby phoenixrisingla on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:20 pm

Uncle Drew wrote:
Mark Cuban Suggests Lakers Consider Using Amnesty On Kobe Bryant

http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/226338/Cuban-Suggests-Lakers-Consider-Using-Amnesty-On-Kobe
:man1: :man10:


Cuban trolling the media.

MC - Lakers should dump kobe to save the cash.
Reporter - Would you consider doing the same thing with Dirk?
MC - No way. Why would I do that? Its DIRK.

:freak2:

Lol, stop wasting our time Mark.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Doc Brown on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:44 pm

Translation --> I effed up, can't get any stars to come here, the only way I will get one is the highest bid on the amnesty wire.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Mark should go to the Charles Barkley school of please STFU talking about the Lakers. Shouldn't he be fined for talking about another player under contract on another team?
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Chillbongo on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:35 pm

^ :man10:
At least Cuban has a ring to show for it.....Sir Charles on the other hand.....
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby khmrP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:09 pm

that is how he went from a champion to 2 consective years of thread mill so QUICKLY, dude is all about bottom line and "future" instead of thinking we can win again with these guys he tried his impossible dream of opening cap for last summer only to see it ALL BLOW UP in his face and he now has Collison/OJ Mayo and 2 washed up clippers to show for it :man10: Also Pubes is clearly trying to deflect attention from himself and his FO for their ineptitude at the trade deadline, talked a big game and all he got to show for it is Morrow :man10:
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby JGC on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:08 pm

phoenixrisingla wrote:
Uncle Drew wrote:
Mark Cuban Suggests Lakers Consider Using Amnesty On Kobe Bryant

http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/226338/Cuban-Suggests-Lakers-Consider-Using-Amnesty-On-Kobe
:man1: :man10:


Cuban trolling the media.

MC - Lakers should dump kobe to save the cash.
Reporter - Would you consider doing the same thing with Dirk?
MC - No way. Why would I do that? Its DIRK.

:freak2:

Lol, stop wasting our time Mark.


That title is so misleading. Mark Cuban never suggested that the Lakers use the amnesty on Kobe.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:34 pm

^damn you defend anything that isn't a Laker.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby LTLakerFan on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:38 pm

Here's the actual quotes, was just going to post this as well:

Mark Cuban thinks the Lakers should consider using the amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant
By Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – 19 minutes ago



Mark Cuban and Kobe Bryant share a sweaty hug (MCT via Getty Images).
It's now a well-known fact that the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement restricts the ability of franchises to employ more than two very high-paid players at once. For all but a few teams, the future will likely not involve the kind of three-star super-teams that became popular when LeBron James chose the Miami Heat in 2010.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of the first owners to realize this new reality, and in the compressed, post-lockout offseason of 2011 he opted not to overpay to reassemble the team that won the NBA title the previous June. Cuban's plan backfired when he couldn't sign a second, younger superstar to pair with Dirk Nowitzki, but his logic was sound. With this new CBA, an owner better be sure a long-term contract is worth it.

As a knowledgeable observer of NBA finances, Cuban has recognized the considerable payroll of the Los Angeles Lakers, now surging up the West standings at 26-29. With three players making $19 million or more per season and several others making considerable sums, the Lakers will have important decisions to make if they want to avoid a sizable luxury tax hit.

So, ever the concerned owner, Cuban has suggested that the Lakers consider using the NBA's amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant. From Tim McMahon for ESPNDallas.com (via SLAM):
“If you look at their payroll, even if Dwight (Howard) comes back, you’ve got to ask the question: Should they amnesty Kobe?” Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Ben and Skin Show.” [...]
That sounds crazy, but the Lakers are looking at ridiculous luxury tax bills if they don’t do something drastic to reduce their payroll, which is slightly more than $100 million this season and will probably be in that same range next season if Howard re-signs.

This is the last season of a dollar-for-dollar penalty for teams over the luxury tax limit ($70.307 this season). Beginning next season, the luxury tax starts at $1.50 per dollar and escalates for every $5 million a team is over.
If the Lakers are $30 million over, their luxury tax bill would be a whopping $85 million next season. If L.A. trims the payroll down to $20 million over the tax, the Lakers would still get hit with a $45 million bill. And they’d be subject to the even heavier repeater rate in 2014-15, although Steve Nash's $9.7 million salary is the only contract currently on the Lakers' books for that year. Bryant is on the books for a league-high $30.45 million salary next season, the last year of his contract.

Cuban has a long history of needling at the Lakers, including his now-prescient preseason claims not to anoint them as champions and not-so-impressed evaluations of angry Lakers fans. He's a master of poking fun at the Lakers in public, and he'll do it whenever he gets the chance.

That said, he's not only making jokes in this case. The luxury tax will penalize teams to a degree we haven't seen before, and having one player eat more than 40 percent of the salary cap might not be a smart business decision. While Kobe is having one of his best offensive seasons in years, he still turns 35 next August. That's an age at which all perimeter players see dips in production, and there's no reason to think Kobe will get especially better.

The Lakers are a different case, of course, because they play in the NBA's second-biggest market and bring in huge amounts of money through their regional sports networks. Other franchises don't have those advantages, and the Lakers are more able and willing to pay the luxury tax because of it. However, every team has its financial limits, and it's possible that the Lakers are close to theirs. Cuban's statements note that state of affairs. He did it in a trollish way, but he also effectively explained the issue.

At the same time, he didn't just say that cutting one of the most popular players in Lakers history could be a good business decision. In fact, Cuban expressed why it's never going to happen:
“You just don’t know, right?” said Cuban, whose Mavs avoided the luxury tax the last two years despite Dirk Nowitzki's $20-plus million salary by letting Tyson Chandler and other key pieces of the 2011 title team leave in free agency. “It’s the same reason I wouldn’t get rid of Dirk. I’ll take a hit for a season rather than get rid of Dirk. That’s just it. I’ve made that commitment to him over the years and he’s returned that commitment. Maybe that’s selfish, but that’s just the way it is.

Dirk, like Kobe, is so important to his team that getting rid of him would have catastrophic effects on the morale of the franchise, from the owner down to the fans. What Cuban is saying, really, is that a smart decision for a basketball team can't only be inspired by finances, because image and emotion determines long-term viability, as well. The Lakers will never use the amnesty clause on Kobe, because he means to much to the organization's conception of itself. Cuban knows this, because he knows he might eventually have to consider the same decision with the Mavericks.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby DJ-RaZ-Q#24 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:49 pm

Well that's gonna be a rare time, that i support an owner getting fined ... stupid BS from Cuban :man10:
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby JGC on Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:25 pm

puffyusaf#2 wrote:^damn you defend anything that isn't a Laker.


Inhale. Then exhale. (Not the other way around).

Ok, now ... I never defended anything. I just didn't see anything in there from Cuban where he suggested that the Lakers should amnesty Kobe. He never actually said that, did he? (I mean, maybe he did but he wasn't quoted as such in the article).

I mean, I thought we didn't like it when the media blows things out of proportion. We just went through this. I was just pointing out how the media blew his comments out of proportion with the article title (I'm sure for the same selfish reasons they blow the Kobe/Dwight thing out of proportion).

I don't even understand your comment really. Do you blindly defend everything that is Laker? I don't think you do, do you?
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby Helljumper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:35 pm

puffyusaf#2 wrote:Mark should go to the Charles Barkley school of please STFU talking about the Lakers. Shouldn't he be fined for talking about another player under contract on another team?


Just noticed this update on the RealGM article:

Update: Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Lakers will not file a complaint against Cuban for his comments. The NBA, however, is reviewing the matter and can fine him for publicly speaking about the status of another team's player.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby GoldenChocobo on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:11 pm

He made a 3.
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby last stand on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:12 pm

kobe scoring>>>>

i hated watching kobe pass. so unnatural. this is the fun kobe, the killer kobe. don't care about winning percentages, watching this kobe is just enjoyable
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Re: Kobe Discussion:"I've bled purple & gold my whole life"(528)

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:14 pm

The last two plays where we Iso'd Kobe was my only complaint. I don't care if we run the Iso but no one moved and Kobe turned it over in critical time. Made up for it with 9/9 from the line though. Great game overall.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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