PodKast: Kobe's conditioning, MWP's All-Star votes and Aesop's Fables

January, 15, 2012
1/15/12
2:12
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
In the time passed between the day this show was recorded (Thursday) and the day of this posting, the Lakers collected a win (against Cleveland) a loss (against the Clips). And in each game, Kobe Bryant scored exactly 42 points. The more things change, the more they stay the same, ya know?

The entire show can be heard by clicking here, and a breakdown of talking points is listed below:

- (3:15): After taking a trip down "Bad Memories of the Loss in Cleveland" Lane, we discuss the Lakers' winning ways of late, which hasn't generated much noise. Is it because Kobe's exceptionally high level of play overshadowed the victories (or worse, frightened fans into believing this team is Kobe-dependent for success)? Perhaps the level of competition, which hasn't been high, quells excitement for a team trying to reestablish championship credentials? If that's the case, Saturday's showdown with the Clippers, plus upcoming contests against the Mavericks, Heat, Magic and Pacers, certainly up the ante.

- (11:13): Speaking of trips into the past, how about a stroll down "BK Plays Chicken With Kobe Bryant and Loses" Lane? All joking aside, it's important to remember asking whether Kobe's current pace is sustainable for a season is different than judging the play itself. While both of us have doubts about the practicality (and necessity) of Kobe expending this much energy, there's no question as entertainment, it's been a thrill to watch.

- (17:26): In any event, Kobe's strong start is a testament to his conditioning, which is unrivaled in professional sports, much less the rest of the league. During a compressed season where the majority of NBA players are working their way into shape, Kobe's fitness stands out that much more. Brian compares this to Aesop's fable of the ant and the grasshopper, in which the hard-working ant steadfastly prepares for the upcoming winter while the grasshopper is out playing, then gets left with nothing when the snow arrives. The fable, in which the ant lets the grasshopper starve to death, also underscores how Aesop fostered quite the bitter edge.

I also attempt to explain exactly how the #NBArank -- otherwise known as the "Kobe-at-#7" project -- works. I imagine these procedural details (namely, this wasn't a traditional ranking system) will fall on deaf ears, but I figured it was worth a shot.

- (24:00): We call out Arash Markazi for canceling a podKast appearance to hang with Chris Paul. On what planet does CP3 take precedence over us?

- (24:37): Believe it or not, Metta World Peace is currently ninth among forwards in the All-Star voting. BK is concerned by the prospect of him rising.

- (28:30): It's not often we say this, but credit should be given when due. After taking heaps of abuse, David Kahn is looking pretty good with that Ricky Rubio selection.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.0
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.6
BlocksE. Davis 1.3