Look at the replay and tell me whether or not the elbow was intentional. I am by no means a Kings fan, and I'm not one of the people that loathes teams just because they are the champs, but I know an intentional blow when I see one (having been the recipient of many throughout my life :-) ) and that was 100% intentional. If it wasn't why no reaction to it from Kobe? Do you mean to tell me he didn't notche the thud of another humans skull on his elbow? And also, did you ever unintentionally bang an elbow against something with enough force to knock a 6'2 man silly and NOT feel it? Only if you are prepared to deliver such a blow does it not hurt. Sorry, but it was intentional.
The elbow was massive, but I also don't think it was intentional. Kobe is always swinging elbows. Usually they don't connect. And you don't ever check on your opponent with your season on the line. I remember Jordan saying, during the playoffs of his first full year back, that he knew he had Shaq and Penny beat when they started helping him up after hard fouls. It's the playoffs, knock a man down and walk away.
The refs missed the elbow call for sure. It should have been Kings ball. And I'm sure the Kings are complaining. Probably like the Lakers complained after Webber's pick, with a little extra emphasis, on Fisher at the end of game 5. The elbow was more obvious, but it is the same situation.
Lets not act like the refs are out to get the Kings. There have been bad calls both ways. Shaq and Kobe have fouled out for the Lakers. Divac and Polard for the Kings. Those players don't even compare. Maybe Divac has been called for some touch fouls, but how many ultra cheap fouls has he drawn by flopping around every time he is touched? If the Kings lose they can blame it on the refs all they want, but the inability to stop Shaq will be the main reason.
Getting away from refereeing and back to basketball....
You know what really scares me about the Kings' chances in Game Seven? The fact that Shaq went 11-14 from the free throw line. If he's even making free throws now, it shows that he's concentrating at an all-time high, and quite frankly, no team on earth can stop Shaq when he's at 100%. Throw in Kobe, and it looks like it could be curtains for the Kings.
I was born in a manger, like that other guy. You know, he wore a hat?
That wasn't even the first elbow Kobe threw in the game - back in the first quarter, he threw one at Webber and Webber got hit with a technical. I don't know whether the one on Bibby at the end was intentional or not, but it sure looked like it.
As for Shaq's free throw shooting, yeah, the turnaround is incredible. I wonder who was working with him to finally get him in a shooting motion he can work with. Maybe it was just him on his own. Though noted crazy millionaire Mark Cuban was just on ESPN with footage showing that Shaq steps over the line on every free throw.
Hinrich was high on the Lakers' wish list, so this is a loss for them. I remember that both Bibby and Hinrich have seen better days. Hinrich was a very capable #2 on the young post-Jordan Bulls and Bibby came within a Tim Donaghy of the Finals.