Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I want Kobe in the last 4 minutes

A phrase coined by Jeff Van Gundy last year during the regular season...and it seems to stick. Kobe is the ultimate closer. He already has a handful of game winners this season, several at the buzzer. How can you not want him to take the last shot? I won't say Lebron, Melo, Wade, or Chris Paul can't close games, because they can. But Kobe truly reminds me of Michael.

Remember when MJ came back? His 4 game against the Atlanta Hawks, 5 seconds left, Bulls down one. MJ takes it from full court and hustles up the court, to pull up from the corner of the free thrown stripe and drill the J as time expired. The fist pump, the double pat on the floor, and he runs off the court. In his next game, he would score 55 at MSG and assist Bill Wennington the game winner as he was nearly triple-teamed.

Doesn't this remind you of Kobe's historic game winner over the Suns in Game 4 of the 2006 playoffs? And he has continued to shine, winning an Olympic Gold, winning an NBA MVP, winning an NBA championship, winning a Finals MVP, and clenching his teeth near the end of games to show his relentless passion to win games.

Idiot #1: Yeah, well Lebron is the greatest ever. I mean, look at his stats!

Response: I will not say he's the greatest ever. In fact, I will never say that, I am convinced. Not only because of his lack of sportsmanship against the Magic or his failure to step up and participate in the dunk contest, in fear that he might lose and there will be negative criticism about him, potentially costing him a couple million dollars in free agency this summer, but he really hasn't proven anything yet, anything at all. I will say that he probably has one of the greatest physiques ever to play basketball, which does help him rack in some pretty incredible statistics, but who cares about the first 44 minutes of the game? Fans of fantasy basketball are more concerned with stats. Fans of basketball are more concerned with wins. And that's what Kobe produces, especially in the playoffs. I'll even go so far as to say that if Lebron goes to New York next year, he will not be winning an NBA championship during his entire stint there. In all honesty, I think he might end up winning only one in his career, and that will be much later.

Idiot #2: Well, people say Carmelo Anthony is the best offensive player in the game. And he is pretty clutch too. Why wouldn't you want him to take the last shot?

Response: Well, Carmelo refers to Kobe as his big brother. And big brother he is. With 4 championship rings. Melo has a really disturbingly dominant offensive game. But he always goes left for some reason. I still give the edge to Kobe by a mile.

Idiot #3: Come on, are you really starting these Michael Jordan comparisons again? Michael was the greatest ever!

Response: I'm not denying he wasn't. I'm simply saying that Kobe does so much in his game, through his interviews, in his demeanour, from his stats, and through championships that he reminds me of the one and only, His Airness. The recent Olympic team wouldn't have been anything without Kobe, maybe another bronze or silver. Just the same way the Dream Team wouldn't have been anything without Michael. I believe in my heart that Kobe will win at least 6 NBA championship rings. And you all saw the All Star Game. When they announced Kobe, he got the most cheers of all, more than Dirk and more than Lebron. He is so loved (and yet so hated by others -- just the way MJ was so hated by Knicks, Jazz, and Reggie Miller fans).

What Kobe is doing this season alone is so breath-taking. How can you not admire his talent? I definitely want the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. At least if he misses, he'll still show good sportsmanship...

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