Kobe + Andre 3000 = victory:
Interesting that Nike’s iconic, tongue-wagging pitchman didn’t make an appearance in any of those old-school snippets. Which is appropriate for any number of reasons, but maybe not for the ones you would think.
As Kobe closes in on a fifth championship ring tonight, this time against the surging Celtics, it’s worth revisiting this particular comment from The Sports Guy:
If (Kobe) … upends the 2010 Celtics, here’s what happens to him historically:
• By any calculation, he passes Oscar and Jerry and becomes the third-best guard ever (trailing only Jordan and Magic).
This is silliness.
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports put this sort of thinking into its proper place recently, saying “the ring argument is a safe haven for simple minds. … In the NFL, Trent Dilfer has a Super Bowl ring. Dan Marino does not. In MLB, Barry Bonds was a cheating SOB, but he was also the best player of his generation. And he has zero World Series rings.”
Kobe is great on his own merits, and inching him into the conversation with Oscar Robertson and Jerry West shouldn’t depend on whether Derek Fisher is knocking down shots or if Pau Gasol can handle Kendrick Perkins leaning on him for 30 minutes a game.
And for what it’s worth, I’m loathe to make a prediction but … I still think Kobe gets one for the thumb and the Lakers win in seven games. The difference this time around will be the vice-like grip Artest will put on Paul Pierce.