At the podium following the Game 2 loss in OKC, Kobe Bryant had this pearl of wisdom about the second-to-last Laker possession: “I don’t know what Metta saw on that last play.”
I know what he saw…and it’s the same thing that everyone else saw except you Mamba.
You may have felt open, but the angle of the pass and the position of Serge Ibaka coming to help from the screen made it a pass that had, at most, a 10% chance of getting through. Steve Blake had a wide open look from the corner…..it was a no-brainer.
Fans and media ride World Peace for making questionable decisions in games (see the final play at New Orleans last month). But last night he was dead on. The second option on that play was Blake in the corner….he was wide open…it was the best look you could ask for. Okay, maybe he could’ve faked and took at step in for two, being down only one, but I get it. Westbrook flying at you definitely is reason enough to shoot first, think later. If a play like that happened another 5 times I think Steve Blake would make 4 of those shots…case closed.
What was even more frustrating is that as the shot missed Kobe went into his jersey pulling, tongue-biting routine instead of turning around and fouling the Thunder immediately. Luckily, Pau Gasol had the presence of mind to get there.
Following the game, when asked about Kevin Durant‘s airball FT Kobe said “I didn’t see it.” Then, regarding the final heave downcourt, he said: “it is what it is.”
Bryant checked out of the game after that missed 3-pointer. It reminded me of the young teenager who used to fight veterans Shaquille O’neal, Eddie Jones, and Nick Van Exel for the spotlight.
Leadership is needed most when times are tough. I expected more from The Black Mamba.
p.s.- ….and don’t get me started about when he threw the ball to Durant with two minutes left. It wasn’t “just an unconventional play” Kobe…it was a younger, quicker, longer defender that got the better of you.