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The W - Basketball - Another F-Bomb on Live TV
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Kawshen
Liverwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bronx, NY

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.87
http://sports.espn.go.com/ nba/recap?gameId=240411023

Kobe a non-factor as Kings cruise

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- If you believed Kobe Bryant, the Sacramento Kings played the best defense he's ever seen. If you believed Shaquille O'Neal, the referees were completely responsible for the Kings' biggest win of the season.

And if you believed your eyes, the Kings' 102-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday was baffling -- both because of Sacramento's abrupt turnaround and Bryant's bizarre one-shot performance in the first half.

Chris Webber had 25 points and 12 rebounds, Doug Christie added 21 points to his superb defense and the Kings halted their late-season skid with a dominant outing against their archrivals. Sacramento needs just one more win or one Lakers loss to clinch its third straight Pacific Division title and the playoffs' second seed.

"Statement? We've been together for so long that we don't need statements," Webber said.

Mike Bibby had 15 points and eight assists for Sacramento (55-25), which took a one-game lead over the Lakers (54-26) with two to play by winning for just the fourth time in 10 games. The Kings played with more desperation and passion than they've shown in the seven weeks since Webber's comeback from knee surgery.

But even in a defeat that probably relegated them to the fourth seed, the Lakers still stole the spotlight with another unique controversy.

Bryant, the NBA's fourth-leading scorer, took just one shot while playing 21 minutes in the first half. He passed up open looks, allowed Christie to bully him and didn't play his usual aggressive game until the third quarter, when the Lakers were 21 points behind.

After finishing with eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, Bryant insisted he wasn't avoiding shots -- even though that seemed obvious to everybody else at Arco Arena. His lone first-half shot was a missed 3-pointer when the shot clock was winding down midway through the second quarter.

He did another strange thing afterward: He praised the Kings' defense, which has been among the NBA's worst this season.

"They doubled me every time I touched the ball," said Bryant, who scored at least 34 points in each of his last five games against Sacramento. "So I just moved the ball, waiting for the game to kind of open up. I've done that before when teams have doubled me.

"They did a great job. They played very well. (Kings coach Rick) Adelman had an excellent game plan for them. If we see them again, we'll figure out what to do to counterattack them."

Bryant's reticence might have been a response to coach Phil Jackson's recent criticism of the superstar's game. Jackson said the Lakers frequently suffer when Bryant concentrates solely on driving and scoring. Jackson wasn't making any guesses, refusing to take reporters' questions after the game.

Gary Payton scored 15 points and Karl Malone had 13 for the Lakers, who lost for the third time in four games -- their worst stretch since the All-Star break.

"I've never seen Kobe take just (one shot)," Payton said. "I don't think any of us came to play, and this is the outcome that happened."

O'Neal also got just one shot in the first half, but he played just 12 minutes after two early offensive fouls. He finished with 10 points and five rebounds -- but he saved his best performance for the locker room, where he ripped the Kings as "underachievers," castigated the officials and again cursed on live television.

"We let (the referees) take us out of our game, but I'm still not impressed," O'Neal said. "I think today it was a little bit obvious that (the referees) tried to take over the game. They changed the game. I wanted to come in here, play real hard, get that big guy in foul trouble, make them play defense.

"It's obvious they're never going to play defense when all they have to do is foul. ... Not impressed, not impressed. Not (expletive) impressed, you know what I mean?"

Shaq got a one-game suspension in February for cursing the referees during an on-court postgame interview.

Only the Los Angeles carnival could overshadow such a dramatic reversal by the Kings, who surged ahead by 21 points in the first half. In contrast to their performances in most recent games, they never gave away the lead, keeping a double-digit margin throughout the second half.

"I can't really take credit for the defense on Kobe," Christie said. "First of all, it was a great game plan from the coaches. Then, guys were helping me when he was putting the ball on the floor. ... He's a smart player. I was thinking he would pick his time to start shooting, but the guys stayed with me."

Game notes
Peja Stojakovic scored just 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, endangering his second-place standing in the NBA scoring race. ... Bryant got his first point on a jumper with 3:53 left in the third quarter. He also missed his final seven shots. ... Sacramento is one game behind Minnesota for the conference's top spot, but the Timberwolves have the tiebreaker.





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StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.75
God, I wish Shaq and Kobe would both just shut the fuck up and go away. Kobe has a bit of "class" Not much but a very tiny bit. Shaq is just a big fucking crybaby. He throws his elbows around more than anybody in the league, but will cry when a foul is called on him? SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU MUSH MOUTH PIECE OF SHIT!



Thank you for your irrelevant opinion.
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
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Y!:
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.07
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Kobe has a bit of "class" Not much but a very tiny bit.
I'll catch the ESPN replay tonight, but the quoted article sure seems to imply that by only taking one shot in the first half, Kobe was trying to make some kind of statement of his own...and I'm not getting that it was a "classy" gesture.

Given the Kings' totally UNimpressive performances on Thursday AND Friday, I'm just not optomistic enough to think they suddenly managed to turn it on between then and Sunday - *especially* with Bobby taking himself out for another game (and man, he HAS to heal in time for the playoffs).

The saddest part of last week's games came while we were watching the Suns game with friends on Friday. By the time the Kings FINALLY came back and had the lead, my already-cynical-AND-ready-to- cut-Webber-AND-fire-Adelman friend commented, "look, they're putting Webber back in. Now we'll lose for sure" and by God, he was RIGHT. Since Webber's back, the Kings are 11-10. He's gotta find a way to bring it up next week. Dr. Jack Ramsay had a good column on the Kings last week (sports.espn.go.com).

While I have you clicking on things, here's Ailene Voisin's take (sacbee.com) for the local flav.



CRZ
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95

    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    He throws his elbows around more than anybody in the league, but will cry when a foul is called on him?
Isnt that the same thing that every player in every league (not to mention everybody playing at public parks for free) of every sport has been doing since the beginning of time? Not defending him, just saying.



    SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU MUSH MOUTH PIECE OF SHIT!
Dude, calm down. Damn. (SIMMA DAN NA)



You heard me, fella

J.T. Dutch
Pickled pork








Since: 3.1.02
From: SoCal 4 Life

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.65
What I will say about Shaquille, Kobe, and the game ...

... Phil chose a hell of a time in the season to gripe about Kobe's tendency to shoot too much -- and Kobe chose a hell of a time in the season to pout over it and decide "To hell with him then, I won't shoot." Kobe wouldn't have had to shoot so much over the last several games if the rest of the team (excepting Shaquille) would have pulled their heads out of their asses and played any kind of a team offense. When you look at it ... more often than not, Fisher has been ice cold, Medvedenko ice cold, Malone ice cold, Payton ice cold; who among these guys has the ability to consistently create his own shot? None of them, really. They have to run an effecient team offense for these other players to score, and since they're not moving without the basketball and poorly spaced, Kobe has to create a shot just so they can have an offensive chance.

... While Shaquille was right about the ridiculous officiating the Lakers have had to deal with this season, he played poorly in the game, and griping after getting blown out is chickenshit. It's become obvious that the referees are going to let guys like Divac pull these obvious acting flops and give him the calls. It's been going on with regularity for almost a decade now. It isn't going to change, and Shaquille needs to adjust his game accordingly or spend half of the game on the bench when they play Sacramento. It's that simple. He knows how much certain officials like to disrupt the flow of the game. He knows how they like to play to the crowd. He know how they like to think they're bigger than the game. This isn't new, and he knows which officials are out to get him and which ones aren't. A player complaining about this during the season will only make the situation worse. It's the coach's job to point these things out, not the player's, and as a veteran player, Shaquille knows better.

... As usual, the more talked-about Laker news is the stories that come from off the court rather than on it. The Lakers still can recapture their best basketball during the post-season; they are rested, and they have their team as healthy as they're going to get at this point. But this petty shit has to stop. They're likely going to face Memphis in the first round -- Memphis plays extremely well as a team, which can never be underestimated. They have a coach who has enough experience to make up for the young group he's directing, and they also have nothing to lose. Everything adds up to an upset loss if the Lakers don't squash these silly issues quickly. We'll see if they can soon enough.





An embarrassing and pathetic way to close out this regular season. This team should have more pride. I am ashamed to be a Lakers fan right now.

J.T. Dutch
j9479
Chorizo








Since: 29.1.03
From: the suburbs

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.61
i'm tellin ya: Kobe for McGrady in the offseason.

Let Kobe have it tough w/ a team like the Magic, who are blindly waiting for Grant Hill to come back. McGrady is desperate to get on a team with another great player; he's begging for it, and i think that a McGrady/Shaq combo would be great.



rockdotcom_2.0
Frankfurter








Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.32
    Originally posted by j9479
    i'm tellin ya: Kobe for McGrady in the offseason.

    Let Kobe have it tough w/ a team like the Magic, who are blindly waiting for Grant Hill to come back. McGrady is desperate to get on a team with another great player; he's begging for it, and i think that a McGrady/Shaq combo would be great.



The problem is NOBODY will touch Kobe right now. I really think Kobe will be sitting in prison this time next year, and in a way, I think Kobe does too. Thats why I think he acted that way, hes tired and in a quiet way hes snapped inside. Just my opinion. I wouldnt be surprised if he just sat out the playoffs. really.



"I want what you want. Yes, that's it Mr. Anderson. Look past the flesh, look through the soft gelatin of these dull cow eyes and see your enemy."
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95

    Originally posted by rockdotcom_2.0
    The problem is NOBODY will touch Kobe right now. I really think Kobe will be sitting in prison this time next year, and in a way, I think Kobe does too.
You're right in saying that nobody will touch Kobe right now, but I think it has more to do with the fact that nobody knows where he's gonna be in a year from now than everyone already knowing he's headed for the big house.


    Thats why I think he acted that way, hes tired and in a quiet way hes snapped inside. Just my opinion. I wouldnt be surprised if he just sat out the playoffs. really.
This last part is a bit of a stretch, dont you think?

And I've already ranted my feelings about McGrady's no-defense-playing ass, so I wont bore you with it here.



You heard me, fella

Kawshen
Liverwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bronx, NY

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.86
The credibility of the accuser is questionable at best, IMO, but that's getting away from the point.

Completely ignoring the case (and reinforcing Frosty's point), the only way Kobe goes to Orlando for T-Mac is if Kobe agrees to go to Orlando - even in a sign-and-trade. Outside of solving some team chemistry issues with the Lakers (Shaq and T-Mac are good friends apparently), not much else on the plus side for either. Kobe opts out, he's unrestricted and basically can go anywhere he damn well pleases.

Orlando? I don't think so. Maybe Memphis (Jerry West) or San Antonio or the other two media giant cities (Chicago and New York) - but Orlando? Don't know about that.




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