LOS ANGELES – No one else will decide when Kobe Bryant passes the torch.
Bryant made that clear Sunday night at Staples Center by snagging his record-tying fourth All-Star Game MVP trophy in the Western Conference’s 148-143 win in the 60th ASG.
Someone will have to snatch the torch from Bryant, the same way he did in 2003, when he was the only player willing to go after an aged Michael Jordan in Atlanta. Jordan was eight days away from his 40th birthday and several Eastern Conference stars offered to give up their starting spots to the man they had all idolized growing up.
But Bryant, who finished that game with 22 points as Kevin Garnett snagged MVP honors with a 37-point effort, was the one guy that showed Jordan the proper respect by trying to attack him on both ends of the floor. Whatever reverence Bryant might have had for Jordan, he did a great job of masking it by going after Jordan the way a young Jordan did his elders when he was a youngster.
Sooner or later the future pushes the past aside. It’s a cycle that can never be broken.
LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin‘s work in Friday’s T-Mobile Rookie Challenge was just the beginning of his whirlwind journey through the first of what should be many All-Star Weekends for the Loss Angeles Clippers’ superstar.
He didn’t snag MVP honors in the game, fellow rookie John Wall did. But we suspect he has a decent chance of exiting the Staples Center floor tonight with a trophy of his own after the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
Just in case you missed any of Friday’s All-Star Weekend action, we’ve got a nice little recap here for you (courtesy of the good folks in the HT audio-visual club):
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Well, be thankful for the mini-vacation we got from the Carmelo Anthony saga — a little something we like call the “Indecision” here at the hideout — because it is officially over.
The start of a new month brings a new round of speculation about Anthony’s ultimate destination, which centers around the same team it’s always been about: the Knicks!
In the latest version of the ‘Melo-drama, courtesy of ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard, ‘Melo would go to the Knicks in a convoluted three-team deal that also involves our favorite front office staff to keep an eye on: David Kahn and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The specifics, per Broussard:
In the proposed trade, New York would send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota and the Timberwolves would send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver. Denver would also receive Wilson Chandler from New York.
A Timberwolves source told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher on Sunday that the team would not approve of a deal where the team received just New York’s Randolph and Curry with Brewer and a first-rounder heading to Denver. While these are the names currently being discussed, additional players could be added to make a deal possible, sources said.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Normally we do all the yapping around here.
But this is an open forum, free from the dictatorship that you might see elsewhere.
Here at Hang Time, everyone gets a turn to weigh in on any topic being discussed. Some of you express yourselves regularly in the comments section at the bottom of every post. However, some of you don’t.
For those of you that don’t want to share with everyone else, direct correspondence with the hideout is not a safety net. Don’t be so stingy! Share some of this good stuff with others. It’s the right thing to do.
And if you won’t, we will.
Welcome to the first edition of the HT Mailbag. Beware what you send our way, because it just might find its way into the conversation:
NO LOVE FOR THE SPURS
If I’m wrong tell me, but if the Celtics get 4 all-stars, then the Spurs deserve 3! Look at both teams. The two best teams in the league and the best record in their conferences. Ginobili and Pierce are averaging about the same scoring wise and are the driving force of their teams. Duncan and Garnett have almost identical stats (dwindled to their normal production), but both play the same vital backbone role on their team. And Parker, though not an assist getter like Rondo, is the punch in the paint. Come on! 42-8! Only because of these three being healthy! Yes I know the bench has helped but they wouldn’t be wining without these 3 healthy this year. I’m just tired of hearing that the Celtics should have 4 and the Spurs players are being ignored. What do you think? — Ian Smith (no relation).
HT: You’re wrong! Seriously, you are just wrong. Just because you have the best team in the league doesn’t mean you have multiple All-Stars. It’s not the same math. Tony Parker doesn’t deserve a spot over any of the point guards that made the Western Conference squad. By this logic, the Mavericks deserve three All-Stars since they are second in the West and the second place team in the East (Miami) has three All-Stars, right?
TOO MUCH LOVE FOR LOVE
I’ve recently read your article on how Kevin Love was snubbed from the All-Star team and what not. Of course I agree Love puts up all the numbers and deserves to be mentioned, but he doesn’t deserve an actual spot on the team! I’m actually a Timberwolves fan and follow most of their games on League Pass, and while I’d love to sit here and say Love deserves it, in actuality the man isn’t there yet. From an uneducated basketball fan’s point of view, Love looks like a monster. He’s great to have if you’re playing fantasy basketball or if you’re just one of those numbers guys! Unfortunately this is real life and Love’s impact on a game isn’t as great as his numbers. We all need to remember that numbers can be deceiving! When will someone have the gumption to write an article bashing Love’s porous defense? The man’s defense is horrible and he gives up just as many points as he scores. If you watch their games closely, you’ll notice he also gets a lot of rebounds because he doesn’t play defense or contest shots, and thus lets his teammates do this and waits to grab the rebounds. There have also been moments of him stealing rebounds away from teammates which is a pity to watch. The man does play hard every night out, I’ll give him that, but the man also plays for numbers! His lack of defense and selfish play for statistical achievements needs to be exposed! The other night his continuous streak of double-doubles (more…)
That’s right, Afro-Kobe returns in our look back at Kobe Bryant‘s long and storied NBA history. It doesn’t matter how many times we see him at this stage of his career, it’s worth a shake of the head to remember just how ridiculously athletic he was as a youngster. He had serious Hang Time!
Remember, this is just the fourth installment of our look back at the Top 1o Plays from the Black Mamba‘s career. Every day between now and the All-Star Game (Feb. 20) we’ll be posting a new season top 10.
Just remember, if you see that wrist band on his left arm above his elbow, our main man Afro-Kobe is probably in the building!
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When asked to come up with the last rookie that caused as much fear and drew as much attention for his play above the rim as Clippers’ All-Star Blake Griffin is this season, Hawks forward Marvin Williams needed a moment to think about it before answering.
“Wow, if it’s not LeBron James, it has to be either Dwight Howard or that fool over there,” Williams said, gesturing across the locker room to Josh Smith, the Hawks’ high-flying power forward who won the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie. “It’s got to be one of those guys, in terms of putting people on posters.”
The Hawks will try to avoid getting caught in the frame tonight at Philips Arena, when the “Blake Show” (one of the many nicknames given to the fan-friendly Griffin’s movement) makes its one and only stop in Atlanta this season.
The other team from Los Angeles always draws a buzz when their traveling circus comes to town, just a few short miles from the hideout here. But the Clippers? This is new territory. But it’s no doubt a direct result of having Griffin, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star team last night, in uniform.
“He’s selling out the Staples Center,” Williams said smiling. “You know there’s going to be a buzz wherever he goes. And the way he’s playing, that makes perfect sense.”
Griffin is the first rookie All-Star since Tim Duncan in 1998.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The polls are closed, but we have to wonder if the Western Conference coaches charged with coming up with the reserves for the All-Star team have done the right thing where LaMarcus Aldridge is concerned.
To his credit, he’s been playing lights out for weeks now. And whether he makes the All-Star team or not, he knows he’s just as deserving as any of the other big men that will make that trip to Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend.
We’re not advocating Aldridge make the team on one shining performance, of course. It certainly can’t hurt to put this one in the bag the day before the announcements are made.