Lunes, Agosto 1, 2011

Checking on the Crystal Ball: Kobe and the Lakers

If Kobe Bryant is to sit in his nice, soft couch today, with his daughter on his lap, his legs raised, and the TV on showing his best on the NBA's Greatest Games, I bet he would already have the self- actualization that he deserves.

Kobe's got five championship rings, 2 Finals MVP's and a league MVP plum. He was a thirteen time all-star, a four- time all-star game MVP, and a two- time scoring champion. He was in the first and second all-NBA for numerous times. He was a leading brand endorser, a commercial model, an idol to the youth and to the past generations as well, and a slam dunk champion.  When looking at these achievements, all LA would be so much grateful that all of these wouldn't turn banners. Or else, the Lakers would now be playing home games on an open court.

But reality orates that Kobe isn't sitting on that couch yet and that he still has some powerful diesel left in his tank. He is at the ripe age of 32 with nagging injuries crawling up his heels, literally. We saw how this bothered him in the 2011 offseason against the New Orleans Hornets and the champs, Dallas Mavericks. It is not safe to say, somehow, that it was the reason they got swept by the Mavs because Kobe has impressive numbers in that series. Now, the past has been buried and a new season may still be at the hanger because of the lockout. This moment, Kobe has been capitalizing on returning his injury plagued body into shape.

And as much as I knew, Kobe is a huge block that can't be destroyed anytime. It wouldn't take long for the process to develop. For the last few weeks, Kobe has invaded Asia playing exhibitions in China and the Philippines. His superb performances show that he still got it.

The power to play hasn't left Kobe at all but the power to win a championship may have. I don't have anything against Kobe or the LA Lakers but reality is far from what every fan has been dreaming of. Unless, the Lakers would be able to acquire the likes of Dwight Howard, Kobe may not have his sixth title yet. Next season would be another turning point to the Laker- plagued decade. They have a new coach in Mike Brown who openly brought in a new system into the court. The Lakers is now looking at its new face in the mirror. Next season could change the landscape of the Lakers.

Kobe would still be its face of course. But the dominance of 2009 and 2010 would not be there anymore. As I said, unless they brought in an impact player, their seventeenth title would still have to wait. Kobe is not getting any younger. That is a fact that even change can't change. In any league and any sport, a star always have to lose its brightness. Kobe would still have showtime and buzzer beaters and furious dunks, but in the long run, he would not be able to conceal the weaknesses that they may encounter exploited by stronger teams with young guns.

It is not closed anyway that the Lakers will still win their seventeenth trophy and Kobe may still hug his sixth, that is, again, if the Lakers would be wise enough to weigh their options and play strategy basketball to the best. As of now, Kobe would have to leap off the couch, kiss his daughter and turn the TV off because the gym is waiting for the greatest Laker ever (sorry Magic).