Tag Archives: Kobe Bryant

I Can't Hate the Lakers

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Note: due to continued f*** ups with their much-advertised, little-supported International League Pass broadband system (which has pretty much shut down since the playoffs arrived, happily), I’ve only watched the two ESPN games so far. So frustrating. I can heartily recommend not giving the NBA any of your money next year, no matter how tempting it might be. The system just doesn’t work.

Anyway, so the Kobe Bryant show did a really nice job on the Thunder last night, in what was one of the strangest games I’ve seen in a while. The Thunder were just manic, as their 17 (!!!) blocked shots/17 turnover performance will attest. And even though KD was able to make it happen a bunch more than in the first game, there was always the sense that LA were going to take this one home.

And, grudgingly, I’m coming round to the idea that this is an LA team you have to respect on some level (the same way you respect the IRD, I guess), and being a straight up Laker Hater is just a bit too easy. They won smart, dirty, tough and fair, hit shots when they needed to, got stops when they needed to, and generally played like NBA champions. The kind who might be banged up and aging, but still know how to break the hearts of a group of young men when their minds are focused.

And they did it all despite having both Ron Artest and Derek Fisher in their starting five. Which kinda boggles the mind. It’s like Phil Jackson’s playing chess against himself at this juncture, putting himself in ever more desperate situations just to keep himself interested. Because that pair are just awful. Continue reading

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TRU WARIER (Infinite Jest)

PACERS CLIPPERS

So I come back from sunny Samoa to find that all hell is breaking loose in the NBA pre-free agency season. Rasheed Wallace, a favourite of mine, is off to the Celtics, a decidedly non-favourite of mine. Trevor Ariza is, quite rightfully, cashing in his great post-season run and heading to the Rockets. Ben Wallace is leaving Chicago for the Pistons, and the whole league seems to be after Grant Hill. Players are going cheap.

It’s mid-level exceptions all over the place so teams that are over the cap and can afford to be are spending up on some coupon savings. But the weirdest and most exciting news is that Ron Artest, the craziest dude in the league, is moving to Los Angeles to join The Lake Show. One of the most intriguing teams in the league just got a whole heap more interesting.

Now, most people know Artest for jumping into the stands and punching a white dude from Detroit. If you haven’t seen it:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHZGfKYr3ik%5D

It’s weird looking back on it, but these nine minutes changed the NBA more than some/most Hall of Famers. These nine minutes are the reason players wear those stupid military style shirts that their stylist bought for them. These nine minutes are why NBA players don’t release rap singles anymore. These nine minutes are why there are so many flagrant fouls called these days. These nine minutes made the NBA whiter. David Stern shat his pants. What could be more threatening to middle America and corporate sponsors than a black star running into the stands to beat on a white fan? They said it was a disgrace and it was violence and it was hell freezeth over.

Artest was suspended for the rest of the year ad from hence forth he was some kind of Stephon Marbury strain of cancer. This is what Cedric THE Entertainer thought of it:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEbEY3-NDCA%5D

Artest might not be entirely at fault here but still, he is insane. He tried to pull down down Paul Pierce’s shorts fer God’s sake:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD796H08J7w&feature=related%5D

So, Artest is insane and Kobe Bryant is insane – no need to discuss the myriad of ways Kobe will need serious therapy once his career is over. Lamar Odom is so insane that he looks and lives like he’s animated. I am barely exaggerating. He lives in some crazy surf Technicolored Disney World eating candy all day, smiling his face off. And Pau Gasol is questionable at best. When Pau Gasol is the most normal guy on a Championship-contending team, things are looking up for the NBA. I can understand people hating Kobe and I can understand hating Artest and this probably makes the Lakers the most love-em-or-hate-em team in a season of what is shaping up to be a powerhouse of love-em-or-hate-em teams (Wallace joining Garnett, Shaq joining LeBron, The Spurs just in general).

Artest is the bizarro Kobe. Watching them battle in the playoffs this year was like watching Kobe playing against a funhouse mirror, Artest distorting his every move. It is going to be something special watching these five guys try to figure it all out. Artest just could be to the Lakers what Rodman was to the 95-98 Chicago Bulls. With the big teams all pulling out all the stops in their grasp for the jewelry, I am counting down the days till next season.

– Henry

P.S. Read Free Darko’s piece on how this deal makes LA the most NY team in the League.

Oh yeah, and there’s Artest’s tribute to MJ too:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJoMFiPF3mA%5D

While I am here, did everyone hear Lil’ Wayne’s (not so) new song Kobe Bryant? Not his best work, but it was topical two months ago and you don’t get that many non-political topical rap songs nowadays (until the whole MJ thing I guess).

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LAKERS!

NBA Finals Lakers Magic Basketball

Lakers win! 4-1! Odom wins a ring! Fuck, The MACHINE won a goddam championship. There’s hope for every misfiring Euro. Did he even score in the finals? I can’t remember. Anyway, one of us here at DeadBall is happy as Larry David. Oh, and Phil Jackson wins his TENTH title! Man, what a day. I am so glad things got better for Odom. Hopefully he’ll be back in purple next season. If they can afford both him and Ariza now. Players with rings are more expensive right? Continue reading

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Angels & Demons

Rockets Lakers Basketball

In the tradition of “the time I wrote a DeadBall post after watching the final of Mitre 10 Dream Home” comes the new post written whilst watching the final of Hells Kitchen Season Something. I haven’t watched this season at all, but the re-cap intro had me rooting for someone who was culled last week – her name is Corey, and she’s cute in an unorthodox way. But she’s already gone, get over it – Christina (25) and Petrozza (46) are left to fight it out.

Meanwhile, I feel I can’t let the Houston Rockets disappear into the night without giving giving them their dues. A team that breezed past the fancied Trailblazers (remember when Portland were the only team in the West that would trouble the Lakers?) with relative ease, they somehow managed to stretch the Lakers to seven games – without their two biggest stars, and refusing to playing offense properly. Pure grit, aggression, and (Battier’s stink-palm) in your face defense was enough to snatch three victories in the series. However, it was the personalities, rather than the play, that really shone. In particular, Ronald (Ron Ron) William Artest Jnr, and his post-match comments.

(Hells Kitchen) Ad break. There are a lot of asians on Lost now. Or at least, that’s what they want you to think… Continue reading

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The Machine: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LA Lakers

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OK, so Dave, Justin and I were chatting NBA Playoffs over the bar the other night, talking about the teams and players we liked and disliked. The usual. Also, earlier in the day Duncan had told me that he had decided that liberated fandom was all well and good, but that a man needed a team for life, a team to rise and fall with, to laugh and cry with, and that he had decided that the Portland Trailblazers would be that team for him.

While none of us went that far, it became somewhat of an issue for the three of us. Who were our favorite teams? Continue reading

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Guest Post: Crossover Appeal

If you have been watching Sportscenter at all over the last month one of the more ridiculous segments that will seemingly not go away is the “which NBA stars would make NFL stars” discussion. Started by LeBron’s commercial for State Farm it is one of those conversations that should be talked about maybe for a week but once Bristol gets hold of it will probably lead to a months long team by team vote. Returning to topic here is Kobe showing what everyone already knew, that he is much more into the beautiful game anyway.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUDZ3Pl0Emg&eurl=http://jmayers.blogspot.com/&feature=player_embedded%5D

Fact of the week 1: Three newly signed strikers scored on debut in the mid-week games – Mido, Heskey, and Bellamy.

Fact of the week 2: In developing a spine news, Newcastle have lost only one of their last nine at St James’ Park.

Fact of the week 3: Sunderland have not won consecutive league games since last April.

Fact of the week 4: Liverpool won their first league game for 2009.

Fact of the week 5: Hull have the fourth lowest goal difference at -15 yet lie 11th on the table showing the great ability to really take a pasting or eke out a win. Continue reading

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The Jersey vs. The Individual

amymickelson

Steve Williams, perhaps New Zealand’s highest paid non-sporting athlete, drunk a little too much at a charity event the other day. Ended up calling Phil Mikelson a “prick“. He also relayed a particularly embarrassing story regarding Mickelson’s man boobs. When defending his statement Williams remained oddly cavalier, stating, “I don’t particularly like the guy myself. He pays me no respect at all and hence I don’t pay him any respect. It’s no secret we don’t get along, either.”

Switch tack to the Black Caps. Our good friend Craig McMillan has called Jacob Oram out for being “wrapped in cotton wool“. Oram latter delivered a terse response,  like a refined character from a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel .  “I understand people who have never bowled a ball in anger in their lives having a bit of a go at me for potentially being on the soft side, but it’s extremely disappointing to come from an ex-teammate,” he said. After which he sighed, took a sip of whiskey and turned his attention to the guests at the dinner party.  Seems like a dark cloud has descended over the gentleman sports. I say,  good show!

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