|ESPN.com: Los Angeles Lakers||[Print without images]|
"...His work during this 4:47 stretch was the roundball equivalent of a conductor with his orchestra or a puppet master controlling seriously athletic marionettes. Just a brilliant manipulation of moving parts... There was also great success as Kobe set up shop several times on the right block... Three straight layups were created from more or less the exact same spot on the floor. Each time, recognition of the approaching help defender and the cutting Laker led to a score so easy, Kobe barely broke a sweat while calling the shots..."
"...It's easy to say the difference in the Lakers has been all about Bynum. He missed the last 13 games of the regular season because of a strained left Achilles tendon when the Lakers floundered, and now that he's back the Lakers look right again. But what Bynum is doing doesn't make him any more of a warrior than his teammates. There are two requirements to being a Laker these days: be willing to wear yellow and play through whatever pain is ailing you. "I think the thing with the injuries is everybody kind of looks at each other and tries to figure out which one is going to be the first punk," Kobe Bryant said. "Because we will talk about you like a dog, like a chump. So nobody wants to be a chump..."
"...Fesenko, who may be the last basketball player to actually wear his wristbands on his wrists, is a nice guy, but that's the problem with the Jazz. They are a roster filled with nice guys and none of them are nicer and softer than their seven-footers who are supposed to be protecting the paint and providing a low post presence. (Kosta) Koufos, who finished with two points as well, is such a softie, he dries himself off and gets dressed away from his locker when there are reporters near his area. If he can't muscle middle-aged scribes out of his area, how is he supposed to fare against the likes of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom..."
"Kobe Bryant has listened the past few weeks as his critics have said he’s on the downward slide, that he’s too old, that he’s physically worn down. And after totaling 30 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three blocks during a 111-103 victory over the Utah Jazz to give the Lakers a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals, Bryant barked back to his skeptics. “Stupid. They’re stupid,” Bryant said. “It’s an injury. They don’t know me very well. They think I’m done. I just hear it. I just hear it. I find it amusing. It’s entertaining...”