Kobe, Lakers Won’t Go Without A Fight



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are a must-watch down the stretch of this season, for reasons that were ridiculously obvious during a historic (for Bryant) Wednesday night in Portland.

Bryant played the entire game, scored a season-high 47 points and finished with an unprecedented stat line as the Lakers rallied from an early 10-point deficit to beat the Trail Blazers 113-106 and move a full game ahead of the idle Utah Jazz for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff chase with just three games to play.

The Lakers have won four out of five to continue their season-defining playoff stand, a charge led by the wicked Bryant, who torched the Blazers with 47 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals — filling the box score in a way that no player before him has. (He also outdueled Portland Rookie of the Year favorite Damian Lillard, who was spectacular himself with 38 points and nine assists.)

Whether the Lakers make the playoffs or not, Kobe is going to make sure their final three games are played with an intensity and at a pace that is playoff-worthy. That’s just who he is and has been his entire NBA career. There have been times when his individual drive and focus have been detrimental to his team (early in his career for sure and again later, when he and Shaquille O’Neal battled for control of the team). There’s no Phil Jackson around this time to balance the scales.

All that said, there is no player I’d rather watch under these extreme circumstances. The Lakers’ season goes into the category as one of the greatest crimes against the game if a crew with Kobe, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash doesn’t find its way into the postseason.

Would it have been nice to see the same sense of urgency in December that we all saw last night? Of course. In or out the postseason, a CSI crew will be needed to comb through the scattered wreckage of the Lakers’ regular season. There’s no way it was supposed to go down the way it has.

Kobe’s fingerprints will be all over the wreckage, along with those of Howard, Gasol, Nash, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and just about anyone else inside the organization you want to throw in the mix.

Even after Bryant saved the Lakers’ bacon in Portland, the reviews seemed somewhat mixed from some of his teammates, per my main man Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

“It’s bittersweet,” Pau Gasol said when asked about Bryant’s dominating performance against the Blazers, in which he played all 48 minutes in a non-overtime road game for the first time in his career. “Because, I think it’s spectacular and it’s very impressive and it’s remarkable to be able to play 48 minutes and score 47 points. That’s incredible. On the other hand, I’m a player that likes to see a little bit more ball movement and better balance. I’ve always been [like that]. That’s just how I perceive this game.

“But again, he was incredible tonight. He scored a tremendous amount of points that I never scored in my life. So, like I said, it was very impressive and it’s not something that you do every night, of course.”

It wouldn’t be necessary every night if the Lakers had worked these issues out earlier in the season. They’ve been riding this roller coaster since training camp, with established veterans trying to sort out their roles — first under Mike Brown and since those first five games under Mike D’Antoni.

That they find themselves in this strange space of trying to decide if they can let Bryant will them down the playoff path his way or dive in and demand that they be a more integral part of the process, is something as remarkable as it is preposterous. McMenamin nails the Lakers’ dilemma here:

It’s walking a fine line, of course, to not give total credit to what Bryant has been doing. The Lakers need to win all these games. They have gone 5-1 in their past six with Bryant playing 45.7 minutes per game while averaging 28.0 points, 9.2 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.2 blocks. Tough to argue with that. However, if this playoff push is supposed to ready the team for a championship run, that’s where Gasol and Howard feel it’s within their right to speak up. This isn’t a sustainable formula to take the title.

“We just got to play together; that’s the biggest thing,” Howard said. “Play together. I think we got to really play inside-out. That’s what kills teams. It slows the game down. It gets me and Pau in a rhythm, and we’re able to find guys on the perimeter also. It’s tough to guard.”

World Peace joined in the chorus the night before after the win against New Orleans, when he was yelling at his teammates from the bench in the fourth quarter to not just get swept up by Bryant’s aura.

“At the end of the game, Pau was looking for Kobe, and I’m like, ‘What the hell are you looking for Kobe for? Go to work. You don’t have time for spectating. Everybody, what the f— are you looking for Kobe for? Go to work. Everybody go to work,’” World Peace said Tuesday. “The five guys that are on that floor? We go to work. We’re not watching. We don’t take pictures. That’s what you guys [in the media] are for, you take pictures. We’re not taking pictures out there. We can’t even bring a camera on the floor if we had a chance.”

The title talk from the Lakers is beyond overboard. We’re talking about a team that will have to fight with everything they’ve got just to make the playoff field. So they’d be wise to lock in on that before any chatter about playing for championships.

The only way to salvage this season in any meaningful way for the Lakers is to not only beat out the Jazz for that eighth spot, they then have to wage a hoops holy war in the first round against either the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder.

The only way the Lakers get there is with Kobe showing the way, just like he did in Portland.


133 Comments

  1. g04t says:

    Let me anticipate that I am a huge Lakers and Kobe fan, let me also say that with my heart, this year we’ll win the championship.. with my heart :)

    These numbers are good only for headlines unfortunately.

    We need the team to come together and play as a veteran team on BOTH ends of the floor to win in the playoffs. We need defensive efforts in order to win in the Playoffs, on the 1st quarter we allowed 40 points to a team made of 4 rookies..

    ain’t no going nowhere with these numbers.. sorry LA

  2. KiddVintage says:

    Heat only won the championship because they got super stars.

  3. Bill Gabay says:

    Lakers have 3 games remaining against tough opponents (in comparison to Utah’s schedule). And the Jazz have the tiebreaker. The time for “balance and ball movement” is over. This is where your superstar franchise players have to show why they get paid the big bucks and why they are considered the game’s greatest. And that’s what Kobe did in Portland. HE TOOK OVER and ensured a victory for LA.

  4. Kobesystem says:

    Can’t believe some of the comments…..Kobe is incredible,and motivated.
    Pau… is doing his thing down the stretch check out the stats last 5-6 games.
    D12……leading the league in rebounding,awsome defense.
    Nash………. can score on any point gaurd in the league,albeit cant gaurd the water bucket… wash at that position.
    Metta can still defend. AND OVERPOWER
    No this team is probably not suited for a cahmpionship this season as it appears but thats why they play the game…..
    In the words of Rudy T.” never underestimate the heart of a champion” 3 of the five starters are CHAMPIONS.
    IT CAN BE DONE………..
    The running jump shot shooting teams usually cant win during the long haul of the second season.(OKC,GSW,Denver,New York,Atlanta,) Miami is the exception for one reason LB.

    The KOBE SYSTEM
    Thank YOU

  5. BigCat says:

    I say trade Howard for Bosh. Then Trade Gasol for Javale Mcgee or Cousins.

  6. Pedro says:

    Nash is not playing. Nuff said…

  7. KB24 says:

    I cant even play 48 minutes that’s some hard work

  8. ZG Oliver says:

    What ever you all say, I’am still counting on KOBE!!!!. HE’S doing anything to fulfill the promise that the lakers will go on the playoffs.

  9. I want the lakers in the playoff. Kobe knows what to do when his team mates are on the court takng pictures instead of playing effectively. When kobe gets mad and takes over, they win. Thank you black mambo – you are the greatest of our time.

  10. W/E says:

    Kobe is good, i rate him as the 12th best NBA player of all time the guy is good.

  11. Eaglos says:

    “I’m a player that likes to see a little bit more ball movement
    and better balance… That’s just how I perceive this game”.

    The thing is Pau, Kobe is playing his private All time scoring
    list mini-game, so don’t expect balance anytime soon…

  12. Ball Don't Lie says:

    I didn’t know Sekou is another Kobe hater.

    Why do people hate Kobe? It just like MJ (Michael Jackson). They don’t like him when he was alive. Then they start ripping off of him and of his legacy. Why is this happening in black community?

  13. realist2013 says:

    The regular season gets you in the playoffs. Its a new season when the playoffs start (no im not a Lakers fan but i’m not going to dismiss a sleeping giant). I’ve seen the rockets in their back to back champ years be the 6th seat and dismantle the top seeds and sweep an Orlando magic team sporting Shaq and Penny when they were also the oldest team in the league. Let those numbers fool you if you want. To quote Rudy T. “Never under estimate the heart of a champion” and hate them or love them counting them out is something only a novice non-watcher/lover of the game would do.

  14. RAPSFAN2013 says:

    The Lakers and Kobe will ALWAYS get the calls and the refs HAVE to keep them happy in close situations. The Lakers and Kobe have too much dirt on the league ever since 2002 vs the Kings, that is one series and game 6 was one game that CANNOT be disputed and over time has been stated that the Kings were robbed, if Sacramento goes to the finals as they should have, they would have most likely beaten the Nets and had a championship. Now Sacramento is about to lose their team, not saying it would have made all the difference but that organization might have been on the right track to continuing success without getting screwed over. Sorry to all of you true Lakers fans but it’s just bad when there is HARD EVIDENCE that your team was handed wins by the refs, and Kobe has spent all that time since then still reaping the benefit of bad calls. So yes when there is real proof it’s not hating but just stating facts. It’s not like these games are not being captured on video lol, money shuts mouths tho simple as that

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I don’t know if its a conspiracy or not, but for coaches and players getting fined for commenting on officiating says a lot. its kind of like Stern is the pimp and the league is his working girls, do as I say, keep your mouth shut or I will take your money. I think allowing coaches or players to comment about officiating and allow the league to do reviews would eliminate a lot of conspiracy talk. its not like refs have not fixed games before (heres looking at you danny Crawford and Kenny Mauer)

  15. aussiephil says:

    show a bit of heart and more urgency pau and maybe kobe wont have to do it all himself, about time you scored some decent points yourself cause it has been few and far between

  16. NBAfan says:

    Nobody is saying they are the No.1 seed.

    I agree that Kobe can’t and shouldn’t do this every game if they wan’t to win a ring this year or next year.

    However, when you’re team isn’t even a lock for the playoffs, you just have to make sure you make it….remember, KOBE himself guaranteed they’ll make it, so he’s doing everything in his power to make that happen…

    Dwight…you want a recipe for success? go play tough D like you’ve done in the past and grab every damn rebound out there. Who cares how many points you score

    Gasol, you want a recipe for success? Understand that as good a player as you are, you are the third best player in this team now and you need to play more of a supporting role…

    Nash…I don’t even know what to say….you need to play 6th man leading the second squad…you’re never did play D and now that you’re very old, you can’t keep up with any semi-athletic pg that is rampant in the NBA nowadays…The reason you guys can’t beat OKC is because westbrook goes nuts on you all

  17. Big Jebb says:

    The Lunkers better hope they don’t have to play the Thunder in the 1st round. The Lunkers just can’t keep up with athletic young teams. They would have a better chance against the Spurs. Personally it’s 4 and out for the Lunkers whoever they play.

  18. ambuj says:

    everyone saw the game.. lakers were down 13-14 early in the first quarter.. what else was supposed to happen..?? pau and dwight had 27 shots.. i thought that was the perfect way to play.. kobe being aggressive opens up the 2 man game of pau and dwight, because of how much attention kobe gets when he gets going.. kobe needs to have 20 shots a game.. he gets buckets.. thats what he brings to the team.. why would you want to take that away,,??

  19. Chris says:

    Kobe is only winning because he is kobe, He gets every call he wants and every call he doesn’t want, watch this video and you will see.

  20. noygalan says:

    Kobe is back and the rest of the team are willed to win. They want to be in the playoff. Any team they will face in playoff will get a good fight. Check my blog on this.. http://www.firstfruitz.wordpress.com

  21. Anthony says:

    Kobe is still a top 5 player in the League at 34 in his 17th year, i know people can hate but dam give the guy the credit and respect he deserves. He works his tail off EVERYDAY and shows what hard work can do for not only sports but real life. thats something you CANT hate on and people still try and justify an illusion that he’s a detrement to his team and always has been? SMH..ignorance is the fall of humanity

  22. gali says:

    chucotown, have you heard or read the news about david stern vetoing the chris paul trade? the nba favoring the lakers? cmon. if that so, chris paul should be playing along with kobe. if the nba and the refs are favoring the lakers, they would not call a flagrant foul against metta in the okc series last year. they reviewed it , even if mwp was trying to make a block, they ruled it as flagrant 1.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I know you aren’t talking about the elbow to James Harden, that was as flagrant as it gets, I could see if there was impact and no follow through, but Metta World Violence followed through with the elbow and didn’t even look back. Taking that into consideration with his previous antics he was lucky not to get a flagrant 2.

  23. Doug says:

    The Buss family talked about the Mike D’Antoni test last year at thanksgiving dinner and now they know that its not working. look for Jackson next year. The play off clause should help to get rid of this crashn test dummy of a coach since Kobe took over play calling a month ago

  24. One of the king's subject says:

    Wow the lakers beat a non playoff team all of a sudden people acted like the lakers are no.1 seed. These are games the lakers should win just like a lot of other laker games they should’ve won. At August the laker fans celebrated a team that was good on paper now they are celebrating any win they can get.

  25. Dutch NBA-fan says:

    Bryant plays great basketball at the moment, but the King played at such a high level the whole season. You can’t give the MVP-award to someone else then LeBron, you simply can’t. Melo is playing well (the last few weeks), same as Bryant. Durant can’t compete to James. LeBron is the best player I have ever seen

  26. diddy says:

    Kobe ftw!

  27. dondonski says:

    If Kobe did not play in that game..that will be a very very bad lose for the Lakers. The aged team like Lakers can’t equal the speed, the quickness of the very young team like that. I think..that is the mind of the coaching staff of Blazers, that’s why they start 4 young, quick and talented rookies, Blazers know that the Lakers are aging and flat-footed. Instead.. 4 rookies cannot catch-up the talent of the Black Mamba. Kobe For The MVP

  28. Patty says:

    I would like to say to the world.

    Like Kobe or Hate Kobe, you must respect him for the basketball skills this young man has. No one playing today has the God Given skills but Mr. Kobe Bryant.

    Kobe Bryant is gifted and he plays like it. I marvel @ Kobe playing in his 17th season and is playing like he is 24. If there was ever a professional basketball player worthy of the MVP award, that would be Mr. Kobe Bryant.

    The Lakers will never be the same when Kobe Bryant leaves the lakers. No one can ever replace a gifted player like Kobe Bryant.

    Thank you Kobe Bryant for ENTERTAINING the world. You deserve the MVP trophy but they will give to the player of the Miami Heat. Please know, that will take nothing away from you. You are the Greatest basketball player that EVER PLAYED THE GAME.

    Mr. Sekou Smith, Please send to Kobe Bryant.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Kobe deserved some MVP’s like 4-6 years ago. Saying he deserves it this year is just not accurate, im a huge Durant Fan and I cant even knock what Lebron is doing. It should go to LeBron as much as I dislike him I admire his game

  29. GMockey says:

    Kobe is the man and it’s obvious … but the real problem with the Lakers this season is that their second-best player and the only guy who really can give up parts of his game and still be effective alongside Kobe has been injured and out of sync almost the entire season. I am of course talking about Steve Nash. If Steve + Kobe are healthy next season it makes zero difference who else is on the team: this is a playoff team and a contender.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I disagree, who is guarding the point guards in the west. do u think nash can cover westbrook, paul, parker, Lawson, etc… too much speed in the west for the lakers, they need a youthful defender, someone like Kahwi Leonard. until they sure up the transition defense and the defesivep oint guard play they wont be able to contend, at this point I doubt they can even guard mike conley, steph curry, jarret jack, james harden, Jeremy lin. just too much speed and athleticism in the West, the bgs are no longer the dominating factor

  30. chandler says:

    oh my gosh. why is every one already saying lakers are in! they have three tuff gmaes and jazz have tie breaker. my prediction is the will end up with identical records

    • Davydd says:

      Kobe and the Lakers will most likely not make the playoffs. Even being at home for the next 3 games the only game I think they may possibly win is with Golden state and that’s if Steph Curry is not on fire. San Antonio and Houston will just simply out play the Lakers, especially if Kobe is the only one working out on the floor.

    • DINO says:

      Chandler…the Jazz would need to win one more game then the Lakers to get the Tie breaker as they are down 1 now. If the Lakers win 2, Jazz need to win 3. If the Lakers win 3, Jazz are out. If the Lakers win 1, Jazz needs 2. Cole…what is so hard to stomach about 18 free throws? That’s 9 Fouls….not a huge number by any means. Players have been fouled far more then 9 times in a single game before.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Kobe needs to rest his body!!!! 48 minutes are TOO much for a 34-year old. He needs to be fresh for the playoffs

  32. Cole says:

    Yes as long as the NBA and refs keep bailing them out by calling EVERY foul…18 free throws?!?! Give me a break….Almost unwatchable….

  33. TTKIN says:

    As a Laker fan, I love that everyone outside of LA hate Kobe (which we know is false since he gets MVP chants in every arena). People dont hate on losers. No one hates on the Bobcats. No one hates on Wesley Johnson. Those are just 2 examples.

    I love the fact that everyone hates my favorite team and favorite player cuz all it is is jealousy. I started watching ball Kobe’s rookie year. And they have won more titles than any other team in that time. And Kobe has become one of the greatest in that time. Hate all you want. It’s only cuz of how frikin good the Lakers/Kobe are. This has been a disaster of a season, but whatever, you cant win every year. The Lakers come darn close to it though ;)

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I don’t know why all LA fans think everyone Hates Kobe, If anything I hate the Lakers haha. I give Kobe respect all day long. My point in the earlier post was that they are making a huge deal over this when the team itself might not even make the playoffs. That’s great he had an incredible game, but like the article suggests its a cost to the team because other teammates often find themselves just watching kobe instead of running the offense.

  34. Paul Randall says:

    For the Lakers it’s WIN OR GO HOME

  35. ScRp0 says:

    Kobe’s stat line from last night’s game has never been achieved before in NBA history! Enough said. Stop hating on one of the greatest players to ever play. And you call that a highlight reel on the front page of nba.com? I have seen all that done in one game by the Black Mamba himself. Yet no slow motion replays of that right? So many Kobe and Laker haters. Incredible.

    • Vid says:

      Most incredible is that it is being done by the most visible publishers who is interested in the game which is NBA.com.
      I have no idea what Kobe did to all these people in the past that they hate/ignore him so much.

      And to The Big Contract. That is fantastic post. That is so true that cant argue with any of these apart from maybe Barnes somehow managed to get better , but thats an exception rather than a rule.

  36. The Big Contract says:

    Gasol is a moron. The lakers won a lot of games while he was out injured and he’s a liability on defense and when they play teams that are playoff bound. He needs to focus on that and keep his mouth shut. Kobe has played through injuries, sacrificed his body playing almost 48 minutes a game each night, he has had to guard speedy, athletic point guards when Steve Nash couldn’t handle them, Kobe has had to play point guard when Nash couldn’t handle the role and when Blake was out injured and Kobe was still expected to deliver points as usual, Kobe even switched and played small forward when Metta world peace got injured. Kobe has not complained, he’s just gone out and played all out in order to get this team to the playoffs. He wasn’t the reason they were losing games. He’s not the reason Dwight is not as focused and turnover prone, he’s not the reason Gasol has clay feet and can’t guard anyone who shows aggression, he’s not the reason Nash is past his prime, and he’s certainly not the reason D’Antoni hasn’t coached defense.
    In the previous game against New Orleans, Kobe let Gasol and Dwight play “inside out” for 3 quarters but that only kept the Hornets in the game confident they could beat the Lakers. Kobe changed all that in the 4th quarter by destroying the Hornets. It wasn’t for glory that he did it, he did it because he wanted the Win.
    Gasol is a moron and he should be traded after this season. He doesn’t realise that people aren’t focusing on his very obvious weaknesses only because he’s playing with Kobe. People keep saying Kobe wants to do it all, doesn’t share the ball etc. Okay, name one player who left the Lakers during Kobe’s leadership era and has gone on to be play like a star. None, they all regressed after they left the lakers. Even Kwame Brown, as bad as he already was, became a worse player. Lamar Odom, Radmanovic, where’s Jordan Farmar?, Sasha V etc
    Trade Gasol for “trade exception”, some 1st round picks and a young athletic player. Then use the trade exception to sign Josh Smith who can give you the 16 points and 8 rebounds Gasol gives and plays far better defense and shot blocking than Gasol.

    • KC says:

      Agree, Kobe is a rare player that actually makes players around him better. The will to win, the determination, the dedication and work ethic are all examples that help other players see how it should be done. If a player feels they should receive more attention, more touches, more anything that they haven’t earned, they don’t have their priorities straight. A player should be focused on doing what their team needs them to do in order to win.

      Don’t trade Gasol, however. Not unless we can actually get something for him. Smith comes with baggage of his own; it’s not a silver bullet for the Lakers’ defensive problems.

    • Patty says:

      The Big Contract, I am so proud of you. Such a well written statement and how true it is. Kobe Bryant is four players in one. I have never seen a player like Kobe Bryant before. He & Michael Jordan are the Greatest Players that ever played the game.

      Thank you for writing this statement because it is very, very true.

      • Francisco says:

        HAHAAH, HE IS NOT EVEN A CLOSER AS STATED , ONLY A 31 % CAREER SHOOTER AT THE END OF THE GAME

    • Lakers? says:

      great article dont think josh smith is the answer though

    • fabby says:

      Oh my gash….., this is the TRUE and right definition of what’s going on… Let the public or the opponents fans HATE KOBE but not His team mates…..Hate or Love Kobe but for the Lakers sake HIS doing HIS Job…Well-done KOBE,…..ignore them u are a SUPERSTAR

  37. Chucotown says:

    “The refs helped the Lakers…its because the league and david stern favor the Lakers.” Lakers haters all sound the same just following with the next hater no matter what team they cheer for. If Stern and the league favored the Lakers, then why would they veto the Chris Paul trade. Haters never make sense just hate..

    Non Lakers fans I dedicate this song to you go listen to it or dont i dont care!! Hatin’ Nation- Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

    • NBA owners vetoed Chris Paul trade says:

      NBA owners vetoed Chris Paul trade… As far as haters complaining and not making sense. Does this make sense?
      2002 Western Conference Finals- Under current NBA rules, review Samaki Walker 3 at halftime game 4, LA loses Game 4
      Sac wins series 4-1 … forget game 6

  38. Bryan says:

    it looks though like the thunder have taken the number 1 spot in west, and they own the tiebreaker…….. the Spurs were bad news for the Lakers and now the Thunder are the worst news possible. Im a Spurs fan and even i can say facing the thunder in round 1 of the playoffs is scarier than facing the Spurs in round 1. Hopefully the Spurs can overcome their next games and challenge the lakers again in another legendary battle for the title. I don”t want to see james harden against my team anymore…… kobe shouldn”t be that hard to handle.

  39. Vid says:

    NBA writers are amazing.

    Kobe posts up stats that nobody ever recorded in whole NBA history.
    NBA site – posts up lebron for the whole page about his stats.

    When Melo had some streak of some scoring nothing special comparing he is on MVP no 1 list.
    When Kobe had better streaks than this – he was not even appreciated.

    Its really sad to read those NBA writters – ignoring the second biggest NBA star that still shines and not appreciate it, that we are lucky to be ones who can watch it live, day in day out.

    There is a reason why when LAkers plays in away arena, big part of crowd cheers for Lakers. For Kobe actually.
    When he will be gone NBA will loose huge amount of spectators both on TV and in arenas..That includes me who watch all of his 17 years of career since youngster started his career with ridicolous dunk.

    NBA writters – wake up for once.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      the reason why the lakers have fans in other areans is strictly due to their championship pedigree, I livein southern California and lakers fans a fair weather as they come, half the laker fans from 2 years ago are now clipper fans because they just like to go with a team that is winning. Same thing with Green Bay, San Francisco and Pittsburgh in the NFL. The Yankees in the MLB. its not about what they are doing now its the team legacy

  40. Officiating lifts Lakers over the Hump says:

    Multiple games over the last couple weeks have been won by questionable calls/nocalls for the Lakers. I think there should be open investigation and public review of all games and Ref statistic should be available for the public. I would like to see a stat on the 4th quater point referee point swing and how many games teams win or lose based on calls.

    • Carlos says:

      I will tell you why…I goes back to 2010 when before the playoffs Smith wrote an article where he called Kobe an old Ball Hog and said the lakers would lose in the first round because of an over the hill Kobe. After the Lakers made to the finals Smith tried asking Kobe a question. Kobe proceeded to Clown Smith in front of all his writer colleagues and everyone in L.A. knows that since then Smith has acted like Kobe pushed him off a swing in the third grade. Basically he’s but hurt because Kobe embarrased him in front of his hack buddies.

  41. Dino says:

    Adamz, if the lakers retain the # 8 seed (which will be very difficult as they have 3 difficult games ahead of them, meanwhile Utah only has 1 difficult game ahead of them)….they will most likely face off against OKC. If I were the Lakers, i’d hope they face off against San Antonio…but the reality is…both those teams are playing too well for the Lakers to get past them….Not when their center who should be putting up 28 points/10 rebounds per game is only averaging 16PPG this season. Howard is a Joke, he looks lazy out there, has no will to be a champion. Acquiring Howard was a mistake. The Lakers need an aggressive go to man with incredible defense to play along side Kobe, either that or they need a second scoring option alongside Kobe…maybe a great SF that can come in off the bench (best 6th man anyone?)

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Good Post! in addition Perkins plays Howard 1 on 1 better than any other center in the league, that’s why boston always whooped the magic. not a lot of people like Perkins but he is the key to the entire thunder defense as OKC does not have to double team ANY center in the nba

  42. Dino says:

    Kobe is without question the 2nd best Shooting Guard of all time (Behind Michael Jordan). Bryant & Jordan are the only two players I have seen display such athleticism and the heart of a champion at age 34…and I have been matching basketball since 1990.

  43. deJavu says:

    Even with the performances coming from Gasol and Howard. they acted like bunch of moaners..If not for Kobe 47 points they’re in vacation trip already. Gasol and Howard should have score more since the Portland played with bunch of 2nd team/rookies maybe..only Kobe still has the Killer instinct to play the game to the finish.Yeah you two big boys..GROW UP!! If you wanna see yourself in playoffs.

  44. ko0kie says:

    even if they can hold on to that #8 seed, is going to be an early playoff exit… it’s not like the opponent will be New Orleans, Portland or Sacramento..

  45. Dr. Crain says:

    I am a Laker fan and have always been, every since the Magic Johnson era. What Kobe Bryant brings to the table for the Los Angeles Lakers is way above and beyond what Pau Gasol could ever bring. The type of attitude that Pau Gasol has divides a team spirit, in my opinion he should have been traded. Kobe knows what he is doing, support him and I believe you might be champions of the western conference to start. Kill that ego. Because if everyone played like Kobe is playing you wouldn’t be in a deficit.

    • KC says:

      Without Gasol, there would not have been a #4 and #5 ring for Kobe. So I don’t think trading him would have been a good way to pay back the Spaniard for work well done. I will agree that his attitude needs adjusting, however. Look at the opposing team: they rode the hot hand as well. Lillard took 25 shots while L. Aldridge only took 13. Kobe took 27, Pau took 15. Howard shot 11. Yet, L. Aldridge isn’t whining to the media about getting more touches. If the Portland had done a better job of defending Kobe, I might have agreed with Pau. As it was, it seemed Kobe got to the line whenever he wanted to and cashed in all 18 free throw attempts. If they make it into the playoffs, what is Pau complaining about? Kobe had to hold it together while Pau was out with his injury. He really shouldn’t be criticizing Kobe’s approach to working Pau back into a game rhythm.

  46. KMAN says:

    Idk why Sekou Smith is always hating on Kobe Bryant…. Whenever Lebron does something like this, Sekou lays on the ground and worships him. Kobe’s stat line last night suggests that he practically whooped on an entire team single handedly almost scoring 1 point per minute. Thats phenomenal basketball, and I would expect nothing less from Kobe Bryant. Also Metta World Peace is the man

  47. heh8men1 says:

    Bring on the Alamo. The RESOLUTION has been Televised.

  48. Adamz says:

    If the Lakers can make the playoffs and beat San Antonio…. They will have the momentum to win the west. To be honest they upset me. My favourite team yet its like they only decide to try… now… Regardless I think they can make some noise and I don’t think any of the top 2 teams want to face them first round. They just have to get it together… Also is Dwight still hurt? He should be Powering over some of these guys.. Pau has… arrived… finally… They need to win 2 of the next 3 at least… its going to be tough

  49. Henry says:

    When the other 4 guys on the floor play with some sense, the lakers dominate without kobe having to push by himself. That was when kobe the distributor had some moments early in the year. However, the lakers are more often a confused group that has no idea what to do with the ball, where to move, or when to pick and roll. Pau said that he’d like to see more ball movement; everybody does too, including kobe.

    However, the lakers’ main issue is again defense. Very slow to almost no help defense, slow and lazy man to man. I personally expect 10x more effort from mr dpoy howard.

  50. Lakers says:

    Simply the best in the game KOBE BRYANT!!!!!!!!!!

  51. tyron says:

    lakers suk heat suk

  52. thekidtrust says:

    No miami champs again sorry!

  53. JPA says:

    Kobe is the best basketball game.

  54. jose says:

    LA sweat the heat against a low-rated bunch of rookies!!!
    I can’t wait to see this Lakers , by the time they face OKC or SAS
    Miami CHAMPS again……

    • science says:

      lmao so other then the knicks and Indiana.. The blazers are just as good if not better then any other team in EAST!!!!!!!!!..The east is worst then the SEC plus all the top teams in east are injured… wtf

    • kobe em gooing to do damage is the playoffs it doesnt matter becuz they was playn rookies its who come out wid a mind set to wind so stfu yall

    • man yall going lose srry team go lakers

    • Random Guy says:

      By the way, your Heat team belongs to in a weaker conference explaining why they have the best record. In fact, if Portland was in the East, they will be a playoff team. Kudos to your hating tho~

      • KramLessur says:

        @Random Guy, you serious? the heat belongs to a weaker conference and it helps them get the best record in NBA??? Miami beat every team in the league and not only EC team FYI

      • OKCKD35 says:

        yes Miami beat every team this year, but his point is that eastern conference teams have more games against the eastern conference, western conference team plays more western conference games. As of the power rankings put out this Monday Miami has had THE EASIEST schedule I nthe NBA this year

    • KiddVintage says:

      The heat only winning because they got f*ckn super stars or else they wouldve never won.

  55. W/E says:

    lol Lakers struggled vs a team full of rookies and without 4 of their starting players….i cant wait to see them in the playoffs against SA or OKC..

  56. Black Dog says:

    #Vino

  57. Brandon says:

    Let us all remember. Kobe is brilliant but this was against the blazers–> Not even a playoff team. It’s sad they had to have a few of their all star players play the whole game to get bast Lilliard and Mathews. That is sad.

    • KOBE 4 PREZ says:

      Lillard will be an All-Star next year and LMA already is one. The Blazers are on a losing streak and had a bunch of guys who not only had nothing to lose but also probably grew up watching Kobe and Nash and would have loved nothing more than to break their losing streak against them. So just because they aren’t a playoff team and started 4 rookies doesn’t make that particular game any easier.

      Also I don’t see what the big deal is about Kobe taking over this game. He had 47 but Pau had a near triple double and is finally flourishing on this team and Dwight got over 10 FGAs scoring 20 & 10, isn’t that what the Lakers wanted? In fact, it was the twin towers that sealed the deal on this game with back to back alley-oops. Lakers are in pretty good shape.

    • u basketball dumb wat that mean becuz they rookies

  58. Taylor says:

    Kobe gets to many BS fouls called for him. Almost half his points came from the line

  59. RAPSFAN2013 says:

    Yup, Kobe did have to take over. Luckily Gasol is doing his job right now too. Sorry Howard you had a nice stat line with 20 and 10, but you also had a rookie guarding you. Howard should dominate in these games with a little something more like 30 and 15 atleast. I guess you can’t ask the supposed most dominant center in the league to dominate against a no name rookie when making the playoffs are on the line lol, what on earth is he going to do in the playoffs against Duncan or Ibaka/Perkins, because even Kobe is not going to average 47 in a best of 7.

  60. Francisco says:

    Great , but HE IS NOT A CLOSER IN THE LAST 24 SECONDS ONLY SHOOTS FOR 31% IN HIS CAREER

    • Emmanuel says:

      Francisco, that´s a stupid stat taken out of context. Bryant always took imposible shots at the end of the games. The lakers never had another strategy than giving the ball to kobe and expect a miracle. YOu wolud say that it´s all Byant fault, but, man, you see the rest of the players (and the coach) and they seems to be afraid of taking that kind of responsability. When the media says that kobe is a great cluthcer, they are refering to his courage to take the ball when it´s burning. This is historical. And, i repite you, the stats out of a context don`t mean anything; the stats are only mere inficators of some facts that has taken place during a match, but they are not the cause of the result of that match. With is i want to mean that there´s only stat that it´s uninterpretable and absolute: the points scored by a team; if this amount is bigger than the amount that has scores his rival, he wins.

  61. daniel.b says:

    i was watching this game, so crazy back and fourth. dilard or lillard man he was doing work to, kobe being kobe. just a very good battle last night

  62. 416 says:

    18 free throws, how many fouls did he draw? One more fun fact: Portland as a team got 20 free throws in total. Oh, they are absoultely not pulling all the strings to make sure Lakers got 8th seed.

    • Really? says:

      The lakers only shot 4 more free throws than portland and thats because at the end of the game they fouled to stop the clock. 4 more free throws is nothing. Especially considering the lakers won by 7.

    • Nice says:

      Market! Market! Market! NBA needs to pull all the stops! REMEMBER, EVERYTHING IN THE NBA IS BUSINESS UP TO THE HOTDOG VENDOR, LET ALONE “THE” LAKERS.

    • Carlos says:

      All portland did all night was shoot threes. You dont get fouls by shooting threes. All Kobe did all night was attack the rim. Thats how you get to the line. I swear some of you have no idea what your talking about and I suspect you just began watching the NBA.

    • purpngold says:

      @ 416! Kobe is a savvy veteran players and understands what is at stake here. The Blazers had four rookies in their starting line up. Kobe was aggressive all game long, doing whatever was necessary to get the W. That’s why he gets to the foul line so many times. You cant blame the guy for knowing how to play the game and being not just good but great at it.
      Now quit your whining and go blow your nose.

    • Random Guy says:

      The question is did you even watch the game? O.o clearly, you didn’t see how much Kobe wanted to win the game, so what he did was attack the rim continuously and resulted to 18 FT attempts. Yea that’s an awful lot considering that he’s averaging less than 10 attempts per game. But when you become more aggressive at attacking the rim, you get more calls than just shooting jump shots.

  63. Nick Jones says:

    I’m sick and tired of hearing about Pau moaning because of lack of ball movement. Just man up and play harder and i don’t care if he’s started playing better, he’s still not tough enough. If it wasn’t for Kobe, we would have been out of the playoffs a month ago!

  64. Dr C.Goode says:

    Its an OK win I suppose but lets remember they only beat the Hornets. Lakers need to make a statement and win at least 3 of their remaining games. Won’t matter all that much though cause the Lakers will be out of the playoffs in 5.

  65. chandler says:

    jazz win out la loses sunday against sa jaazz get spot

    • LAKERS12MAN says:

      Yeah right. Keep hating…HATER! Lakers are going to do it like the Knicks did back in the days and make the Finals as an 8th seed. Only difference is, LAKERS WILL TAKE IT ALL! Utah who??? LMAO!

      • OKCKD35 says:

        and the Lakers will have to play the thunder again. IF the lakers make the playoffs (big if as they still have to play golden state and san Antonio) they will not get out of the 1st round. They got nobody to guard the speed of Westbrook or Jackson, nobody that can even slow down KD. they stand no chance, and don’t even say steve blake, we saw how that panned out last year, maybe steve nash 6 years ago. LAKERS WILL NOT MAKE THE 2nd Round

  66. nimble says:

    One of the most remarkable and spectacular players of all time,much respect!

    @CountonvINO

  67. OKCKD35 says:

    Nice article about a team that has not gotten it done all season. Great you are dueling the Jazz and Rockets. That’s article worthy. Don’t know the last time there was so much media attention for a team that might not even make the playoffs. Yes yes we all know kobe shoots 30 times a game and scores a lot of points. Nothing new here

    • dan'o says:

      @OKCDK, I’m guessing that you haven’t been paying close attention (despite all the “media attention for a team that might not even make the playoffs.”) I’ll bring you up to speed: Over the past couple weeks, Kobe has drastically reduced shots taken (and points scored) to take on the role of facilitator and defensive animal… playing on a level rarely, if ever seen in a 34 year old vet to will his team’s season to extend. There isn’t a more fascinating story at the moment in the NBA… East and West are ruled by the usual suspects going into post season (congrats to your boys.) For Utah and LAL the playoffs began a week ago and each game counts big!

      • KOBE #1 FAN says:

        COULDNT HAVE BEEN SAID BETTER!!! “)

      • aznballer says:

        what a nice comeback to an unappreciative fan.

      • NHbleedsGREEN says:

        Ya Kobe had like a week total where he took less shots.
        Ever since then he’s shooting at least 25x and has he shot over 50% from the field since?

      • NHbleedsGREEN is an idiot says:

        This is your second comment about Kobe taking more shots than he should. You’re just an insolent fool and jealous that he’s playing on a high level even when he’s 34. Seriously? Stating false facts just to to cover up for your hate for Kobe? Stupidity is not a crime, so i guess you’re free to go.

      • tacotaco says:

        Yes except they’ve been talking about the Lakers every day since well before the season even started, the Nuggets, Clippers and Heat needed huge winning streaks to get some headlines

      • terrance says:

        we’ll be dueling you boys soon….don’t worry

    • specialfriedrice says:

      one name for you dan’o…Tim Duncan…note major difference in the minutes…and yet TD still trumps Kobes stella season…kobe doesn’t use his team mates…he is literally playing 48 mins a game…impossible to not post good numbers when you don’t get off the floor…

      • faustonauta says:

        @Tacotaco.
        True.
        NBA is a global market product. As an European fan I appreciate the Nuggets being a powerful and funny challenger to watch in the TV, but be serious, there’s no team of my home playing the NBA, so the Bryant-Lakers era is a great topic, if not the greatest of the last decade.
        If LBJ or any other will thrive and become an NBA legend, is something the future will tell. As a big NBA fan I’ll celebrate each and every milestone and achivement by LBJ or any other.
        NOW, the active legend story is about Kobe from my outlander perspective,
        IMO, the Lakers is the most representative NBA team, ok, I know the numbers, but by stretches is the most NBA representative team. It is a Recurrent NBA winner, through the ages.
        Take a look at the NBA logo, is a Laker Legend, like Kobe.
        Is good for the NBA product to talk about the Lakers drama and heroics.
        And give a shot to this think, guess the Lakers make the postseason and then defeat SAS or OKC, ok, doesn’t look like, but guess that, Will be that bad for the game? Lovers, Haters, locals and outlanders, everyone will enjoy it.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        why would I be jealous of Kobe? First off I don’t like the lakers “no jealousy, my team is 1st in the west, yours might now even make the playoffs, “no jealousy” my team has beat your team 3-1 this season ” no jealousy” Durant is about to join the 50,40,90 club which Kobe has NEVER DONE IN 16 YEARS, no jealousy.

  68. kobe 24 gloat says:

    kobe will always play hard. if only his team mates show up every game and dont complain in team ball movement maybe their goal is not for no. 8 seed

  69. Fay says:

    the rest of the team hesitates…Kobe gets it done!

  70. 123ouriya says:

    GOAT
    !

  71. FlipStar says:

    Kobe HAD to take over. He didn’t do it for personal accolades. We needed this W by any means necessary

    • Lakers Heat says:

      The Lakers wont win championship with this team. If they do, it won’t be with Kobe playing in it. It seems like it takes years for these players to figure out how to play together. They all said we got to sacrifice to achieve on common goal, the title. But everybody want more touches. What is the sacrifice r they talking about? r they talking about sacrifice for one game or for as long as they play together? I believe in Kobe strategy. So much talk about sense of urgency but they dont play like one. Forget the playbook playing inside out or whatever, If you need the Win, u fight for it hard like Kobe did. I’m not sure if thats the right way or not, but it’s the Right action for saying we Need the win. Why were they down the first half? nobody fights for their life. Yeah, theres another season, then theres another season, then theres another season. This is the mindset of a team that don’t have many title. they dont have the will to win bc they think theres always another season. Or they think the season is already over before it’s ended. Why can’t Dwight muscle his way through like Lebron? They all have big hands and big shoulders. wrap the hands around the ball use the shoulders to protect it and bring it up when u get to the rim.

      • SoulChorea says:

        That was the perfect comment. Pau and Dwight are acting soft and unmotivated, and they’re expecting to just miraculously get the ball and be effective. It’s like Metta said, “GO TO WORK!” if they just even ACTED more intense, Kobe would see their drive and give them the ball. He sees it in Metta and Earl Clark, and he’s just trying to squeeze it out of Dwight and Pau but they just don’t care enough. Kobe should just do his thing and go down swinging.

      • chalice says:

        Totally agree. If they need the W, give the ball to Kobe. He is the face of the team and win or lose, it’s because of him. To quote Micheal Jordan “There’s no ‘I’ in team but there is an ‘I’ in win”

      • dhk says:

        Well said. Well said. Pau has been soft for years and Dwight is all jokes followed by complaints. Kobe is a worker.

      • fabby says:

        you are right, 100% agree….Kobe’s team mates wants to play the ball but they’re not doing it . Look at the first quarter when Kobe is not doing his Aura they’re behind. If I’m Kobe’s team mates I’ll shot up my mouth and HELP him to WIN…. Howard should use his big muscles to shot up their opponent and Pau must use his height to block the shoot balls of their opponent too. Shot-up u guys and do your works as World Peace wants…..Go again to get a win….I konw u can do it.

  72. Kobe says:

    Nice Article. #respect #mambaout #vinoremedy

  73. SaYO says:

    not even surpirsed

      • NHbleedsGREEN says:

        45 attempts to get 47 points is hardly unprecedented sir.

      • Carlos says:

        That would be a bad stat except that Kobe actually only took 27 shots to get 47 points which is incredible. Your an idiot get your stats/facts straight.

      • LakersWillWin says:

        14/27 is um I don’t know, abve 50%? lame

      • MiamiHeatles says:

        He included the free throws carlos.. get with it

      • WadeHead says:

        Are you kidding me? One does not include free throws as an attempt. It is scandalous that you are trying to discount this game and present a flaw to people which in fact does not exist. Shame on you Miamiheatles and NHbleedsGreen,

        Yes on many nights Kobe has shot badly, but not this night. This was an amazing game. Stop looking through the lenses of preconceived notions. Experience things as they are!

    • Marvin says:

      Stop picking bones in the egg. What Bryant doing these day in the father age is incredible. Stephen A will throw a bucket of blessing to you if he read your comment.