Every NBA basketball fan always has concerns about what they see and what’s going on in the league. Whether it is yelling at the TV screen during a game, talking amongst your friends, or just thinking to yourself after a night of basketball, all fans have the habit of being concerned or just curious sometimes about what’s going on. As a writer, voicing these anxieties is technically my job so, on that note, here I go.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest in the league still to this day. With the fact being that I am not an ardent fan of his, that statement is noteworthy. However, after watching the Lakers vs. Jazz game last night, the yellow and purple team seems like a one man show. This was the 2nd straight night that Kobe dropped 40 points. He has 21 points in the first half and the next leading scorer had only 6 points. Is basketball a team sport or am I missing something? We all know that Bryant is a great player and, of course, he knows this. Winning is undoubtedly of utmost importance in any sport but if the ball touched more hands, I think the authenticity of saying that the Lakers are a “team” would be more valid. The game against the Jazz went into OT and in the so called “Lakers” possession, Kobe probably took every shot. Being my own devil’s advocate, yes, maybe the shots did go in. Maybe they did win the game for them. But what’s really important- self-gratification or the love of the game and your teammates? One excuse a lot of Lakers fans have is that Kobe “can’t do it alone” when they’re not having the greatest game. Then why is he trying to? Also, the obvious resemblance of Kobe to Michael Jordan’s game and demeanor strikes a nerve in me. There’s a difference between admiring a player and replicating his whole style. In an article posted on twitter, even Scottie Pippen said he thinks Kobe copies Jordan’s template of… basically everything. His attitude on the court, his boisterous ego, even the way he walks. It could be that Kobe is just being Kobe but, being compared to Jordan numerous times, it could’ve gone to his head. This may not seem to have any meaning to whoever is reading this but when it comes to MJ, I take it personal. But going back to the Lakers team, the dependence on Kobe Bryant causes me to wonder who really represents LA these days. The Clippers are a very strong component being that they are a squad who works collectively and not single handily. Yesterday’s game against the Miami Heat was extremely intense, foreshadowing a great upcoming All Star game. Tensions started running high as the time dwindled down. However, the hot topic was LeBron and his ability to be a clutch player.
This is another apprehension I have had lately, especially after last night. No matter what jersey he is in, I will always be a fan because I am a firm believer in loyalty. Nevertheless, his ability to cooperate during clutch time is debatable. Why? When LeBron James was in that Cleveland jersey, you cannot tell me he was not the definition of clutch. Game winner after game winner. I think the words “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” may have killed his edge. Missed free throws and unnecessary fouls are what plagued King James in the game against Lob City. My theory is that he may feel that the environment he is in can no longer be called his own. The Cleveland Cavaliers was his team and he carried them on his back. Now that he is on the Heat with a handful of other star players, he is lower in the hierarchy of the team so to speak and now has to intertwine himself into a whole new way of playing, ultimately assisting Dwayne Wade. LeBron does not have to be clutch in every situation due to the fact that he has others that can be relied on but he is what people want to see at times and his team may need him to be that in certain scenarios. Also, his free throws need to be made because, ultimately, free throws do win games. But LeBron still gets his double double and is #2 in scoring in the league AND is definitely a team player with the Heat team, leading in assists as well. Bron Bron has things to work on but the proof is in the pudding.
Injuries are afflicting the whole National Basketball Association as a whole. Z-Bo is gone, Al Horford may not come back and then there are the mini injuries popping up everywhere. The only thing I can think to be the problem is the lockout, plain and simple. Ultimately, players should’ve been on standby to start whenever they needed to but players probably were not expecting a season at all. So, lackadaisical the players became and, once the season magically appeared, practice was scarce and time was limited. I hope the rest of the healthy players can hold on.
One last concern I have is the Knicks because, as a New Yorker, I always want my team to shine. Since acquiring Tyson Chandler, I’ve noticed that Stoudemire doesn’t penetrate the paint like he did before. He might think that it is Chandler’s job now, which is partially true but, as a big man, taking jump shots every time he gets the ball is not ideal to the productivity of your team. He should utilize what he has to his advantage, which is his size. On a brighter note, Iman Shumpert is awesome. Period.
So, those are a few matters that have pervaded my brain as of late. Whether your opinion synchronizes or not, the real basketball fan loves to have these discussions for the love of the sport. So, what do you think?