Cavs, teammates put Kobe in grumpy mood

All I have to say is I feel really bad to be a fan of the Knicks tonight…

Yahoo! Sports: They are pals only in sneaker commercial puppet ads, so Kobe Bryant(notes) had no use for one of those congratulatory star-to-star half-hug mid-court meetings. The game was over, he was gone. As LeBron James(notes) preened to a screaming, celebratory sellout, Bryant turned his back, marched through the tunnel seething, scowling and promising hell to pay for the Los Angeles Lakers. These were old times for Bryant: Angry, sullen and promising pure misery.

”They know I’m pissed off,” Bryant sniffed in the losing locker room. ”I don’t need to say anything right now.”

Only Bryant did, and he will again and again. Bryant is never happier than when he’s miserable, than when he has a boogeyman threatening the championship fabric of this burgeoning dynasty.

All around him, Bryant has reasons to be livid Thursday night: Pau Gasol missed two free throws in the final seconds. The frontline had been outmuscled everywhere. James toyed with Ron Artest for his 37 points, owning this night on a yo-yo. Phil Jackson left Bryant on the bench for all but five minutes of the fourth quarter, the coach refusing to treat these Cavs as anything more than another back-to-back when Bryant’s body needed to be protected for the long run.

All angered Bryant, and all promises to make for a most unpleasant Kobe over the next seven games of this trip.

Nevertheless, he should’ve delivered some self-loathe for his part in a 93-87 loss to the Cavaliers. He tried too hard Thursday night – needing 31 shots for his 31 points. No, Bryant didn’t want to lose that season series to the Cavaliers, but there was something bigger happening here and assuredly it wasn’t lost on Kobe Bryant. However flimsy the possibility, Bryant lost his chance to be the MVP again.

When everyone dissects these two candidacies come April, it will keep coming back to this: LeBron swept the Lakers and Kobe, beat them in Staples Center on Christmas and again with Mo Williams(notes) out for a month with a shoulder injury. Once more, James will be praised for doing more with less, and Bryant will be partially penalized in the MVP voting for something that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird never were in the 1980s: Playing with too much talent.

With LeBron’s second straight MVP close to secured, Bryant must return his mind to what’s still most available to him: Another NBA Finals MVP.

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Chris Manning is a co-owner and video producer for TheLakersNation.com. In addition to his "LD2k" fan-video productions, Chris is working as the "Production Manager" for HS3; A Digital, Brand Strategy and Marketing company based in L.A. which represents the digital entities of numerous high-profile athletes. You can follow him on Twitter for a wide array of sports/Lakers talk!
  • 007

    That’s exactly what I thought. All of the voters/media are gonna point to the season series to say that Lebron should be the MVP again. :smh: FAIL

    Because Kobe & the Lakers took the season series last season but that didn’t mean anything. Not to take anything away from Lebronze’s MVP last year because he was great, but this is going to hurt Kobe in the MVP race.

    Other things are important, i know. but lets face. We all, including Kobe would love another MVP tropy. So i guess he’ll have to SETTLE for an MVP Finals trophy again. =P

  • keepon_keepinon18

    Wow. The rest of the article just made me breathless. Wow, Kobe really is a special kind of guy.

    Lakers gotta move on from this game, take not a loss from it but a motivation to cover their weaknesses. This road trip is going to be especially important to stake their claims.

  • http://www.myspace.com/626bones Lakers 24 7

    Winning this game against the Cavs would’ve made a big statement, but winning the rest of the games on this road trip will make a little statement also. Lake Show needs to toughen up. Does Kobe have to light a fire under these guys every single game for them to play good?

  • PauLAsol

    well we all now that the last season mvps havent won a finals so lets lebronze be this season mvp again, rings matters the most

  • td

    Great article.
    Truth is that Kobe deals with more critism and dissection than LeBron, or anyone else. No matter, the Jordan comparisons are always dangling for Kobe; whereas LeBron enters the fold already crowned and never questioned. His only issue is Kobe. It is such a lame state for the NBA to be in where last years MVP didn’t make it out of the East. The Lakers swept them, and the marketing machine of LeBron just rolled over any questions of him being worth the award.

    But now, the Lakers are swept and Kobe has no chance at the award? It’s a ridiculous double standard that the media and voters have set.

    The whole article was on point. Although I wish more people would mention the fact that the Cavs got the better end of most calls in BOTH games. LeBron gets the Jordan treatment without the mindnumbing comparisons. Kobe gets the opposite. He is a rare breed of superstar that doesnt get the corresponding treatment. Not only in terms of fouls but Kobe being called for a travel last night was insane. Yes, he travelled, but if you can see that, then why can’t they see LeBron’s. Its actually easier to see LeBron’s because most highlights of his include 3 or 4 steps.

    sorry, the whole double standard makes my brain melt