Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jesus Shuttlesworth vs. the Black Mamba

It is about an hour before tip-off of game one of the 2008 NBA finals. Gangsta commish David Stern and the fans all got what we wanted: A Lakers-Celtics throwback series. Every major media outlet has beaten the major storylines to death, except one, The Ray Allen-Kobe Bryant feud. Supersonicsoul has a nice timeline of the feud dating back to 2004 when Ray Allen initially criticized Kobe,
“He feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq,” Allen says. “He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he's going to jump out and say, 'I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team.' If Kobe doesn't see he needs two and a half good players to be a legitimate playoff contender or win a championship, in about a year or two he'll be calling out to Jerry Buss that 'We need some help in here,' or 'Trade me.’ And we'll all be saying, 'I told you so,' when he says that."

Allen concludes by stating, “He has the talent [to lead a team], he can do it. But is his attitude going to allow him to take a back seat and let Lamar Odom shine and let Caron Butler have his nights and bring those big guys along with him?”
Jesus Shuttlesworth, the prophet.

When Shaq left, Kobe shot, and shot, and shot, and shot, without making his teammates better. Caron Butler left town, and flourished in Washington, making the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. The Black Mamba (easily the stupidest nickname I've ever heard) began this season demanding that the Lakers upgrade the roster or trade him to a contender. When the Grizzlies gift-wrapped Pau Gasol at the trade deadline, the Lakers immediately became the best in the West. Kobe? Still a punk. Just a punk with a huge front line.

Of course, now he has a score to settle with Ray Allen, and that should scare the hell out of every Celtic fan out there. If you haven't noticed Ray Allen hasn't exactly been lights out this postseason. Those two ankle surgeries in the offseason seem to have taken their toll. Kobe will use those words from 2004 and try to put up 50 every night, no matter what Zen tactics Phil uses. And we all know he could do it.

But that would require him to shoot, and shoot, and shoot, and shoot...

And that hasn't worked so well in the past has it?

No comments: