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Red's Army

Kobe Suddenly a Lockdown Defender Again

RedsArmyAdmin August 7, 2008 Uncategorized 9 Comments

Seattle Times

I haven't watched much of Team USA during their pre-Olympic tune-ups, but the one time I did tune in, I was immediately repulsed by the Kobe Bryant love. The announcers were debating whether "Mamba" or "Dobermann" was the more appropiate nickname for the most overhyped, overrated player on the planet. Apparently, Kobe is playing defense in the Olympics.

"We know defense and rebounding wins championships, whether it's the Olympics or the NBA," Bryant said. "So we're going to put a lot of emphasis on that."

If I were a Lakers fan, I'd be pissed Kobe didn't try the "defense" thing in the Finals (And please spare me the "strip" of Paul Pierce in Game 5 – we all know it was a blatant reach-in). Funny thing, I couldn't find the "Dobermann" as Ray Allen and James Posey were knocking down 3s, nor could I find the "Mamba" as Pierce drained turnaround jumpers or sliced to the hoop.

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  • aingelives

    Defense how about hitting some open jumpers that’s what I’d be preaching.

  • perkisabeast

    Isn’t he the best player on the planet? I thought he’s the best player on the planet. He’s the best player on the planet right.

  • Cory

    I don’t think you can really comment on it if you havn’t seen the games. I’ve seen all the pre-Olympic games as well as almost all Laker games last year. He is a different player. On Team USA, he really doesn’t look to score. His main focus is to play defense. The team really needs steals to win, because their halfcourt offense is terrible. When he is really focusing on defense, he is without a question the best defender in the NBA, maybe even in the world. On this Olympic team, he can do that because they don’t need him to score. On the Lakers he has to score, and doesn’t waste his energy on defense. Please, watch some of Team USA’s game before you comment on how someone is playing. Because honestly, he is a completely different player.

  • double P reppin the B

    and I seriously disagree with you saying that when Kobe focuses on Defense he is the best defender in the NBA or perhaps the planet?? Honestly?? Kobe fans live in this distorted universe where Kobe can do no wrong, face it, hes a GOOD defender at best and no where near the top of the league, let alone the world. and I have watched ALL of the Team USA games, and still have yet to see him completely shut down anyone of real talent, he is picking on mediocre ball handlers, I’ll be impressed if he can do this against the likes of Spain and Greece.

  • Mike

    Well, I have seen three of the USA exhibition games and part of another, and as far as I can tell Bryant still is jacking up shots indiscriminately, he just has to take turns with Lebron and Melo now which means less volume.
    As for his defense he is putting in a better effort with Team USA; he absolutely hounded Jasikevicius of Lithuania who is a completely inferior athlete from a physical standpoint. I imagine he will be the better physical specimen in most matchups so he should be able to play great individual defense.
    As for his effort against the Celtics in the Finals, he wasn’t necessarily playing Posey that much if at all. Pierce is a bad matchup (too big, too strong, too damn good) which every player has. The part I don’t get is why he couldn’t play Ray Allen better; Tex Winter made some excuse about Bryant going for steals and overhelping, but that’s a pretty weak excuse for a first team all-defender if you ask me. Maybe true though as he got caught ball-watching a couple times in one of the USA games I saw.

  • Rj

    KG turned the olympics down [he hadn’t won a title yet and wanted to be fresh for a regular/post season run]
    Pierce wasn’t invited back because i think some thought of him as an ineffective player back during the world championships a few years back
    …Though the real problem is that they don’t invite enough defenders to play on the team… you load it with “scorers” who sit back and wait for the role players to do the dirty work on defense and you get beaten by true teams.. this team has 2 all defensive team guys and 2 others that received 1 or 2 votes

  • I Love Red’s Army!

    Kobe is a mediocre defender at best. He looks good (at times) now because he’s mostly guarding players who couldn’t crack the rotation at St. Joe’s nevermind an NBA team.

  • http://www.ballerblogger.com Brandon Hoffman

    To be fair, Kobe isn’t allowed to focus his energy on defense with the Lakers. He can’t afford to get in foul trouble either.
    Another aspect that deserves noting is the difference in officiating from the NBA to International Basketball. Kobe is allowed to be much more physical with the FIBA rules, which makes him a better defender.
    But you’re right, he didn’t lock down Pierce or Allen.

  • I Love Red’s Army!

    If the NBA allowed more physical play, Kobe would get mauled every night because Kobe is SOFT. Even with today’s pussy rules, Kobe gets abused when he goes up against more physical guys like LeBron, Pierce, Carmelo and even smaller guys like Arenas and Wade when healthy.