Los Angeles Lakers: Game Winning Shots

Kobe Bryant shares thoughts on game-winners with Ric Bucher

March, 26, 2010
3/26/10
10:17
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Kobe Bryant's absolutely official count for game-winning shots this season is six. If you count his go-ahead bucket with 28 seconds remaining in an eventual 100-95 win over the Mavs (I do), the number hits seven. Either way, it's impressive.

In the newest issue of ESPN The Magazine, Ric Bucher caught up with The Mamba to talk about the secret to game-winning shots. As you can see in this excerpt, Kobe doesn't consider the matter all that complicated.
    "I light a bunch of candles, sacrifice some rats and have a sťance... No, really, there's no special preparation. I haven't done the 3-2-1 thing since I was a kid. I don't study tape of guys hitting game-winners. No mental imagery. No seeing the ball go through the hoop or anything like that... The shots I make are often ones I've taken earlier in the game. It's just a matter of reading the D and seeing what it's giving you."

Later, Kobe downplays the notion of heavy pressure involved with taking these shots.
    "I've always liked those situations. All I have to do is make one shot, and we win? Cool. People get scared of what others will say or the fallout from missing, but that doesn't make me nervous. Once in 2002 against Boston, I pump-faked Paul Pierce because I knew he'd bite. But the pump cost me the rime to get the shot off. Fortunately, I got another chance against the Hornets a few nights later and redeemed myself. "It sounds crazy, but I really just go out there and do it - after I burn the incense, of course."

Like I said. Easy, assuming you happen to be Kobe Bryant and one of the all-time greatest.

(Read full post)

Lakers Poll: On Kobe's six game winners

February, 24, 2010
2/24/10
11:36
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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By burying a three-pointer with just over four seconds remaining in Tuesday night's 99-98 win over the Grizzlies in Memphis, Kobe Bryant ran his season total for game-winning shots to six. He's officially on a second hand. Give it another month, he could be on a foot.

The sextet has been pretty impressive, too. Not many run of the mill entries (insofar as a game-winner can be a run-of-the-mill) in the bunch. For a refresher, take a look at this slick video montage:



The guys in the edit bay kind of glossed over the shot in Dallas, but still, pretty cool stuff. Now you can choose your favorite. Again. And when he does it again, you'll get to choose again.

At this point, I'm just saving the template for this particular poll.

Paul Pierce, on game-winning shots

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
9:24
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
With all the hubbub about Kobe Bryant taking 28 shots --and everyone else 45-- against Memphis, Pau Gasol requesting more inside-out action and questions brewing about offensive imbalance, I figured the Laker Nation could use a laugh right about now.

So here's your comedy, thanks to LD2K and The Lakers Nation.

"Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes."
- Billy Shatner, "Airplane II: The Sequel"

Lakers poll: Pick your favorite buzzer beater

January, 2, 2010
1/02/10
12:52
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
Like a pre-teen girl in 1990, it's possible to love each and every New Kid, but only one can be the favorite (for my wife, it was- and still is- Donny), so it is with Kobe Bryant and his trio of game winners this season, the most recent edition coming in Friday night's 109-108 win and prompting the Kings to send out texts littered with sad emoticons, just as the Heat and Bucks had before them.

Thus you must choose. Pick a favorite. Was it the amazing, athletic, though admittedly lucky banked three over D-Wade against Miami? The sweet turnaround J over Charlie Bell at Bradley Center? Or the angel-pure triple with one-tenth of a second left last night?



Personally, while the hoist over Wade was amazing and made for the best photographs, I'm going with the precision of the Milwaukee shot, because it was a true example of how Kobe works with a plan he can execute better than anyone can stop it. Having missed an almost identical shot at the end of regulation against the Bucks, Kobe took the ball in the backcourt, knowing exactly what spot he wanted to reach and how he would create space. (That the Bucks let him do it is another issue.) There was a surgical aspect to it all I found pretty interesting.

But that's just my vote. You get yours.

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POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0