Kobe’s Big Boy Pants Fit Lakers Well

 

HANG TIME, Texas — So Kobe Bryant walked the walk, even if it was with a limp.

After crumbling in a heap two nights earlier with a badly sprained left ankle in Atlanta, the Black Mamba showed up in Indianapolis wearing a look of determination.

And his big boy pants.

After all, since he’d spent time this season giving hints, prods, urges and lectures to Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard about playing through pain, how could he not at least hobble out onto the court and try.

He did for 12 minutes, four shots and no points.

But doesn’t he at least get an assist for inspiring his teammates to deliver what some of them called their best game of the season by beating the Pacers?

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times had the lowdown:

“What I told them was ‘I don’t know how much I have, but whatever I have I’m going to give you.’ That’s all my message was to them,” he said.

Message received.

The Lakers’ reserves, humiliated two nights earlier in Atlanta by a 46-16 margin, snapped back with Blake’s season-high 18 points and seven assists. Jamison had 17 points, combining with Blake to make nine of 14 three-point attempts.

Howard shook off a slow start to finish with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and World Peace had 19 points.

The Lakers held Indiana to 37.4% shooting, probably the stat of the game, if not Bryant experiencing only the 15th scoreless game of his career. Whatever. He tried.

He sat on the bench in the second half with an electro-stim machine in his hands, its wires disappearing into his left sock.

“It was really stiff. Just continued to swell,” he said. “I couldn’t put any weight on it so I had to call it a night.”

Bryant says he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to play at home on Sunday against the Kings or even the next two games against the punching bag Suns and Wizards. But watching him remain on the bench in uniform, getting treatment on his ankle all through Friday night’s game at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, wouldn’t we all be surprised to see him sitting?

Not that he just sat there watching the rest of the Lakers take on the Pacers. He was constantly offering words of encouragement and suggestions. At one point he even horned in on coach Mike D’Antoni and used a whiteboard to show Howard where the Pacers were sending their double-teams and how to defeat them.

“Mike has got a million things going on in his head, and Steve and Dwight are all out there in the moment. It’s tough to really see all those things,” Bryant said. “I could see them from the sideline.”

Was Bryant auditioning for D’Antoni’s job?

“I guess,” the Lakers coach said dryly. “I don’t know if he wants that or not.”

What Bryant wants, as much as just another win, is to enhance a legacy that is already the stuff of legend and has few goals left to reach. There is clearly that one more championship that would tie him with Michael Jordan and that may or may not be realistic in a season that has seen the Lakers underachieve right from the start.

But as he pursues Jordan, he knows all of the historic high points of the legend, the so-called “flu game” at Utah during The Finals, all of the other times when Jordan simply would not let his own body stop him from achieving.

Bryant knows that pulling this season back from the brink, getting the Lakers into the playoffs and at least giving them a puncher’s chance to deliver a surprise knockout against one of the top seeds, would only gild his reputation further.

Gasol will likely return in the next few days from the foot injury that has kept him out since early February and that will give the Lakers a lift. But nothing will light their fire like the inferno inside of Bryant.

Don’t just do as I say, but do as I do.

That’s the message Kobe delivered without even having to say a word, just wearing his big boy pants.

48 Comments

  1. Badgers says:

    Kobe grabbed the whiteboard to instruct them what to do when being double teamed…Knowing Kobe’s game the advice would be, just take the shot anyway…

  2. Damn... says:

    Well h8ters gonna h8…

    I don’t think anyone can deny the fact that Kobe was the one who inspired that team to start winning, by taking on the role of facilitator and even more, who can deny that Kobes clutch performance won last couple of games for the Lakers? That Hawks game should have been a W as well-> refs missed an obvious game deciding foul and admitted it later!
    He helped them win Pacers game as well, by coaching, even know his part wasn’t all that big in that game, Lakers are now on a roll, that Kobe started by him self.

    • W/E says:

      yeah right, he helped his team win against the pacers by “coaching”… what a BIG JOKE Kobe fans are hilarious

  3. Bentley says:

    He shoots too much…ball doesnt move with him in…hes arrogant….hes selfish…blah blah we’ve heard it all haters. and were laughing at you cuz hes brought in FIVE, let me say it again, FIVE Championships and you know hes only one of the best scorers pretty much of all time..Quit hating peeps, sit back and enjoy a future Hall of Famer

  4. Kobe is the Hero for the LA Lakers.

  5. SpurForLife says:

    oh cmon! stop making kobe a hero. he plays because when dwight got hurt, he never stop accusing him for playing with pain.

  6. dub says:

    That was not a very intelligent post. Here is a fun fact: Jerry west, magic, Kareem,and Shaq have all said that Kobe is the best laker player ever. And there is no argument

  7. Chandler says:

    Haha. This is a joke. People in here are calling him arrogant and dramatic. It’s like if he didn’t play, people would respect that. If he didn’t, you guys would have turned and said something like, “oh, well he told Dwight and pau to play through the pain and he doesn’t? What a hypocrite.” He’s proving a point to his teammates. He’s saying give it all you got. We’re fighting for a playoffs and hopefully, just hopefully, a championship. Whatever he does, he’s going to get cursed for. What is wrong with you people? I’m a heat fan, but I’m a basketball fan first. I appreciate greatness when I see it. Do I think lebron is better? Yes. Who’s greater at the end of the day? I don’t know. But showing this to your teammates was a great act of character. I actually hope they make it out of the west so everyone can finally see this lebron Kobe finals.

  8. Kertisha says:

    Kobe did good he’s a leader stop hating so much NO ONE wants to be like Jordan NO ONE Kobe told his team to play through pain so he did they same thing regardless of if he played for 12 mins so what like STFU he’s a good role model y’all just mad people can’t say the same for you guys Jordan old n not in the game n e more so keep him out of it the nba is KOBES WORLD NOW!!!

  9. Kertisha says:

    I love this article Kobe went in even though he was hurt making a good impression for his team and being a good leader and not a hypocrite that’s what I absolutely LOVE about Kobe Bryant

  10. This bruno from BORAT says:

    kobe??/ warrior? You can’t literally touch that ballhog… He might scream,cry or whine… ” Hey ref he’s guarding me to tight…” All I know was… With that money being spend of lakers’ rosters, They should up there on 1st or 2nd spot… A team with D12 Nash Pau MWP and that ballhog kobe… 35-32 record… How about the JAZZ 34-32 record w/out any star on their rosters… 11-33 yeah that’s a good stat for a ballhog… Big Boy Pants with a poop I guess….

  11. Bandwagon says:

    Where were all these haters when it was Kobe, pau, Bynum, and odom ??

  12. digitioli says:

    I love good basketball. The beauty of it is the teamwork.
    That doesn’t make me a Kobe hater. Just calling it like it is – he’s not a great team player.
    I notice that none of you EXPERTS responded to any of the points I made in my post – because they’re true!
    Better shots, better defense, less turnovers – look at the stats.
    I know it’s only 1 game – making a point for the sake of discussion – what this is supposed to be…
    I’ve been a Laker fan since West, Goodrich and Wilt – Kareem, Worthy, Magic, Rambis, Wilkes – in their primes ALL of them would beat the little boy pants off of Kobe 1 on 1 and are on my 1st team all time Lakers because they were the consummate team players who could care less about personal stats.
    My point is, that as intelligent and hard working as Kobe is, he’s even more stubborn and selfish, and as a Laker fan I’d love for him to prove me wrong on that. That ain’t hate, it’s a challenge.

    • Francisco says:

      not a closer since 1997 only 36 of 115 in last 24 seconds for only 31%

      • Bentley says:

        If your a Lakers fan for that long you should respect the Mamba for bringing in 5 chips for our great organization.

  13. Patrickmarc says:

    Since Blake is back things are differents; Nash and Blake to feed Howard, or take the shot. It’s much better now.

  14. dj rgm9 says:

    Dumb people posting,yapping,whinning about Kobe having no life at all !!!It is very clear with proof on the replays from that game vs the Hawks it was a reaching foul after shot ok that simple.Kobe is sidelined with his sprained right ankle clear enuff Kobe is just human like anyone on the planet end of story.He c’ant play so he has to recover and that look like a serious sprained ankle.I went myself also a lot playing with flu like symptons during b.ball competition,it’s not uncommon at all,i go even with flu working at my job!A lot nerds-haters seeming that they barely playin basketball in theyre life or maybe non.I understands these situations because bin myself having a lot of these.Playing when you’re sick means you love to play basketball when the game is on the line,real basketball players and that’s the truth!
    These trolls better stop posting because this is getting ridiculess posting nonsense with no B.ball knowledge at all,
    Only hatin about Kobe is just sick,truth!!!
    Go Lakers!!!

  15. Jesus says:

    A lot of people that comment on here ware idiots, and are not true fans of basketball just haters. A lot of people are saying without kobe the team does better, they obviously have not been watching this season. The bench players are inconsistent, they play good some nights and worst on others, I’ve seen games where kobe gets them wide open shots and they flat out missed it. So cut the bs and get off Kobe’s back, not a fan of the lakers or kobe just a fan of basketball. Oh btw if kobe was so bad for the team I don’t see how they could have beaten Toronto and New Orleans after being down by so much. So tired of Lebron fanboys and Miami bandwagoners.

  16. Zebulun says:

    I think ignorant people who do not appreciate the competitiveness of a true basketball spirit should stop reading Kobe Bryant articles. They obviously chase around on every blog just to try and pull down a 34 and half yr old man whose basketball legacy and legend is sealed forever. Who cares if he jacks up shots? He has coerced and dragged and prodded dis team from a barely 40% win record to above 50%. Kobe Bryant may not have the best people skills in the world but to attack his basketball spirit and legacy is just damn stupid and simply downright low.

  17. MrPhatz05 says:

    I’m not a Lakers fan but I would say it is more interesting to watch the L.A without the black mamba, like the way they play in Indiana, they can execute very well the pick and rolls of Nash and D12 and all the supporting cast are stepping up they can play harmony without the KB24 also known as The Black Mama, sorry Mamba I should say, may bad, lol :)

  18. pathetic says:

    If he sat the game out the Kobe haters would just bash him for something else. No one is perfect so point out flaws all you want. Kobe is a warrior and loves the game. Lots of players emulate and want to be like Jordan because he is one of the g.o.a.t. a fact is Kobe has gotten closer to his legacy than anyone in years. Hate if you have nothing better to do but I respect him.

  19. sports fan says:

    Kobe has more in common with Carmelo than he does with MJ. Kobe & Carmelo both shoot way too much, which prevents the ball from moving a lot, and they both slack on defense. If Kobe didn’t play all season the Lakers could now be seeded 5th, 4th, & possibly 3rd in the conference.

    • uoykcuf says:

      I am going to aim high in here, I think a team that got d12, nash, mwp, clark, jamison, blake can at least get a 2nd seed. And don’t forget gasol when he’s healthy. I think a 2nd seed is reasonable. Without Kobe, they can pick and roll all day, who’s going to stop howard/nash on pick and roll?

  20. Patty says:

    Don’t just do as I say, but do as I do.

    That’s the message Kobe delivered without even having to say a word, just wearing his big boy pants.

    KOBE DELIVERD A POWERFUL MESSAGE TO HIS TEAM.

  21. Heat030634 says:

    i think it’s better for him to coach his teammates and relax his foot for a while. he should give his teammates a chance to play more time and work harder. i’m not against his coaching because i can see it as helping his teammates. he cares for his team and really wanted to be in the playoffs.

  22. Game Time says:

    I think the Lakers are now comfortable playing with each other. Guys know their roles and how to score. They’re not at a championship level, but could upset someone first round if they play great team ball. Not a Laker fan, but I am a basketabll one so I love seeing a good game. This team is finally starting to be entertaining…for good reasons.

  23. theking0522 says:

    That is a very good team without Kobe anyways. That team can win 50 games in the West without Kobe. That shows you Kobe is not MVP. The Lakers are still a pretty good team without him.

    • lakersftw says:

      I dont understand why all of you kobe haters would even click on the article in the first place. Do you really have nothing better to do than hate on other people?
      Asan for kobe, he wasnt trying to act tough by playing, he was trying to show the team his grit and determination. The team definitely needs a leader and thats what kobe gave them. If youre gonna bash on kobe, why bother clicking on the article?

  24. digitioli says:

    Best team game of the season for the Lakers and Kobe “played” for 12 minutes – coincidence? I don’t think so.
    The ball moved – no dribbling for 14 seconds and then taking a bad shot. They played team defense. Turnovers way down.
    Other guys stepped up because um, there were 25 “extra” shots available…
    …and then he still had to grandstand from the sidelines by “coaching?” This guy is psycho-selfish.
    Even good teammates and players get tired of watching hero ball night in night out and lose focus.
    Thing is, as much as he’s patterned himself after Jordan offensively he’d do well to emulate MJ’s leadership, level of effort on the defensive side of the ball night in night out, and how he was a great teammate who put the team first every night. It would be an interesting stat to see how many games Jordan didn’t even take a shot in the first quarter, and how many he sat out the last 5-6 minutes of of the game because his team had taken on his killer instinct and finished the deal.

  25. J-Short says:

    Good on Kobe giving it an effort, the schedule is pretty light in the upcoming games and Utah has a monster schedule, with that said I think he should sit out the next two gamea and try and comeback then. But atleast he tried against the Pacers.

  26. theking0522 says:

    Too predictable…He always do that. Gets injured, nobody expects him to play and the hero “plays through pain.” OMG this guy is a warrior (sarcasm). Kobe has tried to imitate Jordan’s flu game for years. Every player plays through pain in the NBA. Some of then (like Kobe) just like to say it aloud. Remember when Lebron was having cramps in the Finals and came off the bench with a 3-pointer? People ware saying that he wasn’t really injured and to get off the court if he was…Well, the same has to go to Kobe then..If you are injured, get off the court. Show off.

  27. theholyspectator says:

    i agree it wasnt the most smartest thing to do…i understand your teammates are pretty stupid and need outside motivation so they gotta see their leader out their playin all tho he was horrible..not sure why tho, guess kobe only cares bout makin things happen…which you cant be surprised by. but to have the guy get on the floor and play ball..he coulda re injured it and made things a lot worse. wasnt the smartest move at all! but im pretty surprised they beat indiana, that shows how resilient the lakers are without kobe. but then again we were expecting lakers to be great when you have such an athletic big man like dwight on the post…guess we are all surprised cuz we havent seen this all season..lakers lookin good for the first round exit tho..so they better push and try to be the 6th seed so they may have a chance at stayin in the post season a lil longer…cuz spots 7 and 8 are an automatic ticket to the off season.

    • lakersfan4life says:

      I can’t believe all this negative comments about Kobe, Is like Damned if he does Damned if he doesn’t , The Man is showing some leadership, If he was arrogant, he would have played the whole game, All the Man knows is winning injure or not, he has shown that all his carrer, So what all you guys are saying is that MJ and all super stars that have played tthe game with the flu or injure are all Arrogant ? To Me they do Play sick or injure because they love the game and they want to win. they wiould play regardless if they have the best record or not, and if it wasen’t for Kobe we probably wiould be having a worst season, so all of you that are Kobe’s hater STFU. GO KOBE AND THE LAKERS.

  28. wakenbake says:

    self centered douche

  29. KB24 says:

    He should sit out for the next while so he can be ready for the playoffs. The schedule is fairly light in the next couple weeks, so now would be the best time

  30. alfa says:

    Kobe always has to be the hero …..
    someone explain to me the game???????? 4 -0 to kobe ​​hero????? that is arrogant

  31. berry says:

    i guess it would be news if he didn’t suit up. the lakers are hollywood afterall. they like the drama. it’s becoming too predictable. kobe doing the “unexpected” by “miraculously” showing up. they probably just blew up that injury report so the nba would pay heed and give them more breaks on late game calls. the nba does pamper it’s stars. i bet he would have played more minutes had he made one of those few attempts he took.

  32. W/E says:

    WHAT BIG BOY PANTS?!?!? Kobe is a Joker, why start a game if u are crippled and cant play? To look tough?!? I was likeWTF is this guy doing is that a joke or sth,he made a fool of himself, Kobe should sit on the bench and let his teammates go to work, stop being so arrogant and hero wannabe his team has alot of good players who can play better without him jacking up shots hauling in the court with his bad ankle.

    • r says:

      yeah. i agree. sort of. the fact that he got out there and played was a huge statement. that he meant what he said about playing through pain. but at the same time, doing that isn’t good for recovery.

      what bothered me was seeing him still on his feet even after leaving the game. giving standing ovations for sick plays? sit down kobe. stay off your foot.

      • DWM says:

        If he really wanted to play through pain, he would not have sat out Sunday’s game against the Kings. He didn’t have his big boy pants that day.

    • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

      i guess your a jordan fan who doesnt want him to get 6 rings or more…
      Where you saying this during the Flu Game?
      Thats what I thought

  33. the lakers might poop on their big boy pants in the playoffs lol

  34. kobe bryant is the men of that team, even if hes not playing hes doin his part guiding the team, whatever people say bryant or the lakers, IM A BIG FAN OF THE LAKERS AND GO LAKERS.

    • MJ says:

      Kobe … Lebron, you guys are acting too much and so full of drama. You will never be like me because I was never like that. Just packing play basketball men … I never had to copy Dr J, or whomever or that I had flu or had to show my leadership by drawing the whiteboard.

      I like Lebron when he is playing the game because he does not need to imitate anyone’s playing style, but I don’t like him when he is off the game, like he is trying to get attention too much.

      Kobe, fuhgetaboutit, he is too self-center. When D12 scored 39 points, he then tried to be the “man” by forcing the issue too much, and the result: Laker lost to the lowly Hawks.

      • uoykcuf says:

        LOL! btw, see the Lakers handle those pick and rolls without kobe is such a beauty. Players plays harder, more cuts and picks, and right on time to the open man. Last pick and roll with nash and d12 is what I want to see for the lakers in the future at the end of the game. No more kobe jacking up shots after shots until they fall. Go lakers! without Kobe you will get to the p[layoffs!