6

No Respect from Lakers

“C’mon. I’ve seen so much, man. I’ve seen like real rivalries. This regular season stuff … this is child’s play. This is like slap boxing.” – Kobe Bryant after Friday’s loss to the Warriors

Slap bloxing? That’s cold, Kobe.

He played the Warriors for an irritating little stepbrothers. He brushed off Golden State’s emotional victory like an uncle dismisses his nephew’s lucky win in Scrabble.

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It’s not hard to see how low the Lakers regard the Warriors. Even Laker fans, who were nearly as deep as Warrior fans Friday, were in Oracle with their chests out, resting their feet on the Warriors’ coffee table.

The Warriors and their fans certainly circle the Laker game on the calendar and relish any time their team can “Beat L.A.” Oracle went pretty crazy as the Warriors closed the game with a 14-4 run to steal a victory, snapping their nine-game skid to the Lakers. There was confetti. Leaping celebrations. An ovation. The crowd hasn’t been that ecstatic since the playoff series against Dallas. As a matter of fact, the crowd hasn’t been that large since the playoff series against Dallas. Friday’s attendance (20,705) set the record for largest crowd to witness a game in Cali.

To be sure, it was a big win for the Warriors. They moved to three games above .500 (13-10), which was vital heading into a five-game road trip starting Sunday. Plus, they got a win over one of their bullies, as the Lake Show has won 14 of the last 15 meeting before Friday.

Though playing the Lakers is the most anticipated game of the Warriors season, especially from the fans perspective, the Warriors don’t rate so high on the Lakers radar.

Why else would coach Phil Jackson pulled Kobe Bryant with 1:27 left in the game and the Lakers ahead 104-103? He brought him back in just over a minute later, but the Laker lead was now a four-point advantage. Jackson said it was because Bryant sustained a quad injury (some five minutes earlier). Seriously? If the Lakers were playing San Antonio or Phoenix, Bryant would finish the game with a splint trapped to his leg and no shoes.

Bryant tweaked his thigh some five minutes earlier. Jackson said he noticed Bryant was too hobbled to defend, but not for offense. So he took Kobe out.

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That was a straight slap in the face to the Warriors, who Jackson thought that either a) the Lakers could win without Kobe, or b) wasn’t phased by a loss to the Warriors. Remember, Jackson held out starting small forward Luke Walton when the teams met in L.A. Sunday, so Walton can get an extra day of rest before facing San Antonio.

If Phil didn’t get the “Warriors who?” message across, Kobe did.

“(This loss) doesn’t hurt at all,” Bryant said. “Not one bit. … They played extremely well in the second half, made a lot of big shots. But we still had a lot of opportunities to win the basketball game. We feel very good about this game. This loss didn’t do anything for us.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Marcus

    BTW, Mark Jackson said on the air that he ranks Baron as the third best PG in the league. Earlier this year, it might’ve been during the West Finals, he listed his top five and Baron wasn’t on it. He said Nash, Kidd, Deron Williams, Tony Parker and Chris Paul.
    What is that? Does Chauncey Billups make the top five when Detroit is playing?

  • EJ

    that’s just kobe being a hater. he knows the warriors have a better young team than he does. the oracle is rocking like staples USED to, and i bet that’s killing him, too. losing on espn probably didn’t help his mood either. i know that kobe takes these battles with premier players personally. baron really frustrated him in the 4th quarter, so i’m sure that had a huge effect on his ego. c’mon kobe. be a little more gracious than that.

  • beau

    Kobe was hurt. He pulled a groin. Did you see him trying to defend BD? He couldn’t move. That’s why Jackson pulled him, so he could put Fisher on BD and keep him out of the lane.

  • petaluman

    Slapboxing – isn’t that foreplay for Kobe?

    Seriously, I could care less about Kobe’s respect. I’d much rather we had Derek Fisher’s. Jackson was just playing the odds. He knows how long the season is, and how much he needs Kobe. I don’t think that the result would have been different if he’d left Bryant in.

  • zgreat

    I don’t think it’s a big deal. With that injury, any other player would have been pulled immediately for the remainder of the game.

    As for the real rivalries comment, well if your team wins nine in a row, I don’t think you’d consider it a huge rivalry either especially if the other team hasn’t been competitive for a long time. This win could be the start of the Lakers considering it a rivalry.

  • Vince

    Last I checked, the Kobe led Lakers haven’t even passed the 1st round. It’s obviously just sour grapes being on a team which its second best player is a crack head.

    The Lakers do have a matchup advantage against us like we do against Dallas. But obviously, we don’t consider us a better team than Dallas. Kobe is so naive to think his team is superior. Please wake me up when he passes first round.