Last Saturday, before we played Portland in ‘Rip City’ I read that Kobe was a no go.
As soon as I read that I knew we were going to win.
I know, I know, yeah right. But seriously, I did.
And no, I don’t think we’re better off without Kobe, or some asinine idea like that.
It’s just that I knew what Pau, Artest, Lamar, Shannon, Fish, Farmar, and etc… were capable of, and I thought that they would relish the opportunity to prove that they could win a game on their own — and they did!
I’m sure we would’ve been thrilled to just get the one victory in Portland, but then we put the hurt on San Antonio too; and I’ll be honest, I had no idea that was going to happen.
Anyway, I’m sure you all remember when I wrote about how Kobe should sit right? I pretty much got destroyed in the comment section, but its okay because I feel a bit vindicated.
Like I said: We are NOT better without Kobe, but we may be better without a Kobe who is so beat to hell he can’t even get open for a shot (I’m referring to the Denver game, and I know Kobe was burning down the Staples Center in the first half, but in the second half he was moving around like he was forty-five).
I hope Kobe doesn’t play on Wednesday either, and I’m pretty sure none of us want him participating in the All-Star game.
True, Utah is a supremely tough place to play, but it hasn’t been any tougher than the Rose Garden has been to the Lakers. Plus a victory against the Jazz, would give us three in a row, and three in a row against three quality opponents.
Just think how much guys like Shannon, Farmar, Sasha, Luke, Powell, Ammo (okay maybe not Ammo) — and to a lesser extent — Lamar, Pau, and Artest (would also include Bynum, but as we all know he’s went down. ..again) would benefit from winning three without Kobe.
Actually, it’s already paying dividends: Instead of having Kobe continuously bail us out, we’ve actually bailed ourselves out.
Hell, Sasha Vujacic even looked like ‘The Machine’ again… eh, sort of.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Mamba rip the heart out of the Celtics, but I love watching the Lakers hoist up trophies more; and if Kobe’s extended absence helps that cause then I am all for it.
I mean, we know Artest has been struggling to find his role, but in the two games without Kobe he’s been great.
We knew we had yet to see the best of Pau, but on Monday Pau assumed the Kobe Bryant post-facilitator role, and played a great game (aside from the five turnovers).
Lamar is always Lamar, but 22 rebounds against Portland. Amazing!
We are not better without Kobe, but this time without the Black Mamba may make us better.