Best miss ever? And a summit with a twist
So Kobe Bryant, the greatest closer in the game today, fires up an airball at the buzzer and it’s the biggest shot of the season so far for the Lakers?
Yeah, I can see how people on Planet Orange might feel the Basketball Gods are conspiring against them. Again.
That was some wacky finish to what was an outstanding game and I fully expect Phoenix to win back at home Saturday and give us some Monday night drama.
At least a fella can hope, right?
Anyway, on to “the play” where Ron Artest, who took perhaps the stupidest shot of the playoffs with a missed three-pointer when he could have practically run out the clock, rebounded Kobe’s heave at the buzzer for the winner.
Forget for a second how well the Suns defended the ball on the play and think for a minute how much of a brain cramp was going on on the weak side of the floor.
Everyone in the free world – not to mention whatever communists remain and those incarcerated – knew Bryant was going to take the shot. Heck, even I knew that.
But what everyone not directly involved with guarding him had to do was simply make sure their guy didn’t get a chance at a tip of a miss. Forget everything else, get a body on your guy and keep him off the glass when Bryant’s shot went up. Don’t watch the play, do your job.
And they didn’t.
I think it was Jason Richardson who somehow let Artest get free enough that he could catch the ball and take a shot and that’s the kind of inattention to detail the drives coaches and fans – and teammates – right around the bend.
Now, I have no idea what might have transpired in overtime but with the way the game had been going, there’s no reason to think anything but that the Suns were rolling and could have stolen one.
Now they have to go home facing elimination and with a sick feeling in their collective gut.
Last call for mail, which can be sent by clicking here. There’s a Canada Basketball thing late this morning but then there’s the traditional sit-on-a-stool-do-mail late afternoon pre-coaches meeting answering session and I need some stuff to do.
This, folks, is getting a tad ridiculous and I guess it’s a tad Raptors related.
As you can read in this story half-penned by My May Ira down in South Florida, there either will or won’t be some huge “summit” of the top free agents before July 1.
That’d include your own C. Bosh, by the way.
Now, I think this is kind of reverse-tampering and I’m pretty sure Mr. Stern won’t be too impressed by the thought of four guys sitting in a room trying to determine who gets what cut of what pie. But there seems to be no speciflc “rule” against it, according to a couple of people I talked to yesterday; it’s just unseemly.
And, in my mind, unworkable.
I know it sounds all well and good that two or three or four of them will decide they want to play together and how sweet that would be to roll to an 82-0 record and become the story of all time.
But when push comes to shove, I don’t think anyone of them is really going to want to take less money or a smaller role just because it sounds good.
I’d hope, eventually, the competitive nature that drives these guys would kick and they’d think, ‘hey, I’m good; I’m going to do this.’
This is just another layer of stuff we’re going to have deal with over the next couple of months, breathless reports and analysis of stuff that may or may not happen.
But I have to tell you, Henry Thomas seems to be spending an awful lot of time denying stuff, doesn’t he?
First the “list” and now the “summit” and you wonder what’s next.
And on that that James-Wade-Bosh-Johnson-Whoever Else They Can Drag Away From Summer “summit” I’d presume the security costs wouldn’t approach $1 billion.
Cristal costs, maybe. Security? Not so much.
Speaking of a tad ridiculous, I’m sure some of you heard about one of the Atlanta Hawks owners being fined $25,000 yesterday for violating the tampering rules by speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution a week ago.
What he said:
“If somebody came to us tomorrow and said you can have LeBron for max money and it puts you in the luxury tax, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But am I going to do that for (Zydrunas) Ilgauskas ? Am I going to do it for Jermaine O’Neal? I don’t think so.”
Oooh!!! Inflammatory or what?
Apparently the league is clamping down on owners speaking common sense, too.
This really is getting out of hand, isn’t it?
Can’t remember who, but someone suggested yesterday that I need to mention the Raptors every day just to feed the insatiable hunger for no news.
Nothing of interest happened with the team.
I guess if you want something – anything – it’s that individual workouts here should start next week and we might be seeing something of a schedule in the next couple of days.
So, I’ve got the possibility of a Mighty Yankees coaches meeting after work, I think I’ve been going strong all week and have a Canada Basketball thing to go to this morning to figure out what’s up with the Under-17 teams headed to the world championships.
Time for a little selfishness so I’m thinking a Friday night off might be in order. Sorry to disappoint the tens of you looking for in-game blog thingies but let’s have a dark night and come back tomorrow for the series we care more about.
See you Saturday at 8 for Suns-Lakers.