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Westsider Rider

Friday, December 01, 2006

I guess the legs are back

The same day that ESPN put up articles wondering if Kobe would be the same after knee surgery and the day after Coach Jackson said the same thing Kobe goes out and puts on another show. 52 points in 3 quarters, 30 in the 3rd quarter alone. Games like this are why I try to watch every single Lakers game on because you never know when it's going to happen. In the third quarter Kobe hit anything and everything, he went 9-9 from the field, 2-2 from behind the arc, as well as 10-10 from the line. Perfect all the way across.

Ric Bucher in the Daily Dime echoes my thoughts exactly. People hate him so they refuse to give him his due. They want to discredit everything he does, opponents claim he doesn't pass enough, he's selfish, and the list goes on and on. But Bucher says it best in the following quote:

How many times must Kobe demonstrate that no one in the league -- and I mean no one -- has his combination of skill, tenacity, understanding of time and score, killer instinct and ability to control the game at the both ends? And how many times must I be the one taking the flag and waving it?

Trust me, if you're sick of me sticking up for Kobe, I'm equally sick of having to do it. It shouldn't be this difficult to have the man recognized as the league's all-around best player. OK, so you don't like him. I'm good with that. But not respect him? Not give him his due? Anoint anyone who hasn't accomplished half of what he has as The King or The One or The Whatever? Ignore what every player in the league will tell you, even those who consider him arrogant and a little bit evil, that he's the best?
Hate him all you want but you cannot deny his greatness. Kobe has definitely been sharing the ball more this season, looking more for his teammates and not taking over at all times. He is maturing as a player and looking to his teammates for help. He's more likely to do so now since his teammates are stepping up and hitting shots when needed. On last years team there were times when no one but Kobe could get the job done. This year from Odom to Bynum to Farmar to Walton, everyone is contributing. Which is why my preseason goals are still intact, make it to the 2nd round, anything less will be a disappointment. This team is good enough to get it done.



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