As YKI stated months ago, the Lakers do not possess the hunger, passion or drive to repeat as Champions this year. It’s not a case of being dramatic, it’s just factual. Second loss to Oklahoma City? Saw it coming. Loss prior to the Finals? Guaranteed.
In this Laker-flag-car-driving town of fake fans, Facebook messages stating I’m going to take a nap, when I wake up I hope the Lakers will have won! & blank stares upon mentions of the name Sedale Threatt and Terry Teagle, it is fitting that the denizens of the city are worked up for naught. The Lakers will lose to the Thunder/Jazz/Nuggets/Spurs/Blazers/Suns/take your pick and nobody will lose sleep, not even the Lakers. And therein lies the problem.
and Phil Jackson is ready to leave. Through it all, though, they really could win if. . .
a certain Black Mamba, Number 24, the Angeles Assassin was firing on all cylinders,
which he clearly is not. For all of his invincible brilliance throughout his career, Kobe’s ability to withstand pain & conquer obstacles has been beyond Jordanesque, playing through injuries, criminal charges, and unparalleled media access/coverage. The past few years have been year-round ballplaying for Mr. Bryant, from the Worlds to the Olympics to repeated NBA Finals.
It seems as this season is the first time that he’s willing to accept less than perfection. As unbreakable as he is in mind & spirit, it’s his body that is telling him to shut it down. Now by no means is Kobe trying – or even wanting – to lose, but it’s apparent that a premature conclusion to the 2009-2010 season would have long-term benefit. Now in his 13th year – meaning his body is 35 years old in Basketball Years – it’s simply been through too much in too short of time to recover properly.
In short, Kobe can not single-handedly will the Lakers through their litany of on-court issues and off-court lack of focus. Prepare for that, Laker fans, and take those darn flags down – they make us all look bad.