Kobe Bryant is starring in a new roll, folks. He's taking the lead part in his own personal version of The Exorcist.
In 2008 Lakerdom was set to experience the best tri-fecta in Laker history. Not only had Kobe finally won the MVP, he was poised to bring his first Larry O'Brien Trophy home to Los Angeles as the Lakers' top gun. To add the proverbial "cherry-on-top" to the list of accomplishments, Kobe was going to China to grab the gold for the USA. A monumental amount of bling for one man, enough to make even BA Baracus sniffle in envy.
Alas, it was not to be. In a series of Job-like travesties, Beantown waltzed away with their 45th (or whatever) title and sent our hero packing. Chinese Gold and Maurice's trophy were not nearly enough to erase the pain of losing to our rivals in green and white.
Flash forward, 2010, the Smoke Monster, wait no, sorry. Flash forward 2010, and time's have really changed. No longer is Kobe Bryant considered the top player in the NBA, a stat-gobbling monstrosity named Lebron has taken the MVP two years running. But we see something different emerging. Kobe is poised to redeem himself personally, showing the media, haters, doubters, stat-guys, and two specific teams that he's still the King of the Court.
1. LBJ. Lebron. Forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two time MVP. Self-proclaimed "Chosen 1". Post-season failure. I did some analysis using "game score' in this thread. Needless to say, Lebron played some insane games this post-season. His GmSc in some rivaled the greatness of Mr. Jordan. What Kobe's doing, however, is insane. His GmSc, and therefore production and efficiency, has gone up as he's advanced in the playoffs. Where Lebron was inconsistent and faltered during the important matches, Kobe has increased his GmSc per series. Against Phoenix he's posting an impressive GmSc of 29. I know the shortcomings in making an analysis this way, some things aren't taken into consideration (like defense/pace). Regardless, Kobe is showing he's still the true MVP, as he continues to win and lead his team forward.
2. The Suns. 2006, 2007. 4-3 heartbreaking series lost, coupled with an embarrassing 4-1 the next year. Now it's 2010, the dawn of a new decade, and Kobe is drooling at the prospect of whipping clean the nasty reek those losses left in his pshyce. Look to see Kobe show Phoenix tonight what true resiliency means. In a season plagued with injuries and some let-downs, Kobe is poised to strike a blow against the evil that lurks in Phoenix! Go Lakers!
Tu autem effugare, diabole
3. Boston. Beantown. Rivals. Pierce, KG, Allen. Redemption. Let's not look too far in advance, friends. We're traveling to Phoenix tonight, and have a chance to slam the door. But there is something on the horizon, lingering, resting. The final statement in Kobe's redemption will be walking away from Boston with trophy in hand.
Do you doubt him? I don't.