YouTube link added 02.03.09
10:49 AM, Monday, January 23rd, 2006:
Not sure how you guys look at it, but there's something really special to me about the last several months of The Journey. In giving up the dream, I've inadvertently shown more of who I am than ever before. Believe it or not, when I look back on previous months I'm most definitely just a reader. I look at things and roll my eyes, scoff, laugh... and I can't get over the irony of writing "Letting Go" as the last entry of August and then immediately following with "Leaderless State" and a series of entries completely unrelated to anything that I'd ever posted before. The one thread is "passion". I am passionate about everything I do. Even if it's spectating...
...and nothing compares to what I spectated in the 2nd half of last night's Lakers game. Nothing is close. When Jordan scored 55 in New York it was hailed as a "classic". It was part of a friggin' commercial. It was a stage to his greatness. Kobe scored 55 in a fucking half. Yes, fucking. I can't even begin to censor myself when it comes to that sentence. FIFTY FIVE IN A FUCKING HALF. Effortlessly. And why did he do that? Because he's a ball hog? Because he's selfish? NO. Because his team was down by 18 points and he couldn't handle the loss with 4 days off coming up.
Ya see, I'm already defensive. It's become a sport to hate Kobe lately and it really pisses me off. No one wants to remember his last year with Shaq when he worked his ass off to be in the best shape of his career and Shaq came into camp fat as hell and completely rusty. He cost them games, he cost them the championship and he was traded. I relate so much with Kobe sometimes man. He's so passionate about his craft. He trains his ASSSSSSSSS off. He has the right to expect his teammates to do the same. And the bottom line is, he did defer to his teammates last night and they found themselves down by 20. They were about to lose to a 14-26 team and he TOOK OVER. He made it happen. And in all honesty, he did it better than I have ever seen Jordan do it. It was literally like playing an xbox game. You know where you just pick a star and try and make him score 100? It was like some kid had a wireless controller in the arena and set the game to "rookie" so he could dominate. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. And he's only 27 folks. The future is bright...and man, can you imagine the LeBron vs. Kobe finals? Are you kidding me? The Cavs will most likely lose LeBron to New York at the end of this year - and will that ever set up an amazing scenario:  Future NY/LA finals with the 2 biggest stars going at it. Wow.
I really compare the Lakers right now with the Bulls of 1987-1989. 1987 was the year MJ averaged 37 and they were out of the playoffs in the first round. He had no choice but to score 37 a night, he had no Pippen. It was the only way they were going to win. That should change next year if Kobe gets a Pippen. I really thought Lamar would be that role, but I don't see the fire in him like Pippen had. Kobe senses that and in turn, doesn't trust him to make the big shots. You had to impress Jordan the same way. You had to earn his trust. In time, Pippen did, Grant did, Paxson did, Armstrong did, Kerr did... but it took time. Give the Lakers time, they'll be back on top.
For the video, it's literally me conceding to Kobe. In 1989 when Jordan scored 69 points, I happened to be taping it and my father and I made a music video to Tina Turner's "Simply The Best". It was one of many videos we made and was actually a big spark in my creativity as a kid. I'll try to dig it out of my trailer and put a copy online. Anyway, I thought it was appropriate to remake the video with Kobe in place of Michael. I love Jordan to death, but any true fan of the game has to see how much better Kobe is.
Offensively he has no equal and when his career is complete, I believe you'll be hard pressed to not put him ahead of MJ. But at the same age? No comparison man. We just have to see Kobe win multiple rings without Shaq (even though Jordan never did it without Pippen and I don't hear anyone crying about that. LOL) and it will be cemented.
PS - I'm not avoding talking about the Bears loss, I just really have nothing to say. Watching the best defense in the NFL FALL DOWN on two plays for 50+ yard touchdowns is pathetic. They didn't deserve to win. Of course the fact that the Steelers beat all odds and are IN the freaking Superbowl just stings worse. It was the best opportunity Marty and I have ever had in our lives for the big day and chances are it won't happen again the remainder of our days. Oh well. I wish him all the luck and will be rooting for his Steelers on the 5th.