With everyone in Staples Center aware the first option was Eric Gordon, who led all scorers with 24 points, Kobe Bryant lined up on the Clippers' hot rookie, and said something to him, grinning.What Bryant said, according to Gordon was, "I'm going to hold you. No way you're getting the ball."
Funny, that was precisely what happened.
With Gordon trying to come to the ball off a screen, Bryant circled his arms around him . . . for a second . . . then arm-wrestled him . . . briefly . . . until the Clippers' Steve Novak was obliged to toss it to Baron Davis, who wound up missing a desperate double-clutch three-pointer.
This was Pure Veteran, with Bryant aware NBA officials are loath to call touch fouls off the ball at the end of games.
Bryant, told what Gordon said, smiled.
"There's no way," said Bryant. "There was no way I was going to let him get the ball."
And the art of holding just enough to tie Gordon up without getting called for a foul?
"He's just not getting the ball, it's as simple as that," said Bryant. "If I'm going to be a lock-down corner, I'm going to be a lock-down corner."
I like it though, it shows he respects Gordon.
By the way for those of you who don't know, Kobe is Gordon's hero, his idol. When asked what he's looking forward to the most in the NBA he replied "playing against Kobe Bryant." The first game that the Clippers played against the Lakers, Gordon didn't get any playing time. The next time around he did, but only when Kobe would sit down. When Kobe would come back in, Gordon would sit down... So these last two games have been great for EJ.
He actually played pretty good D on the best player in the world, don't you think?
Too bad his 3's were off.. He's hit the rookie wall a bit, his 3 pointer has been off EVEN THE WIDE OPEN ONES! No worries though, he's just a rook.
Edited by TheCalmInsanity, April 06, 2009 - 09:09 AM.